Saturday April 9, 2005Softball Shuts Out Gamecocks in Doubleheader Sweep
The No. 15 Florida Softball team (31-10, 10-4 SEC) defeated South Carolina (24-19, 7-10 SEC) with back-to-back shutouts, 1-0 and 3-0, in Columbia on Saturday. It marked the first time in the series between the two teams that Florida team has recorded back-to-back shutouts. Florida has now won each of the last six meetings between the two teams, dating back to a 6-2 Florida win in the 2003 Southeastern Conference Tournament in Plant City, Fla.
Florida did something in the first game it hadnít done since 2001, as it defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks on their home field. Florida won the game 1-0. It was also the first time the Gators shutout the Gamecocks on their home field since 2000.
Florida was getting out hit 5-1 going into the top of the seventh. Lindsey Cameron, who had the Gatorsí only hit of the game to that point was set to lead off the seventh. All it took was one pitch to give Florida the lead, as Cameron sent the first pitch of the inning just over the right center field wall. Two batters later, Kristen Butler started a two out rally with a double. The Gators proceeded to load the bases, but could not push the insurance run across.
Stacey Stevens came into the game in the bottom of the seventh to finish out the game for starter Mandy Schuerman. Things got interesting as South Carolina was able to get the leadoff runner to third with only one out. The Florida defense held strong however, as Stevens struck out Darcy Norem and Megan Cornett grounded out to Melissa Zick to end the game.
Schuerman earned the win to improve her record to 10-3 on the season. Stevens earned her second save on the year. Aleca Johnson earned the loss for South Carolina to move her record to 4-5 on the year.
Zick did not get a hit in the game to end her hit streak at 11 games.
Florida was much quicker about putting runs on the board in game two. With one out in the fourth, Lindsey Cameron hit a single to left field. Cameron stole second for her 12th steal on the year. After a second out, pinch hitter Mirelis Torres drove a base hit to right to score Cameron and give Florida a 1-0 lead. Butler was not about to let the rally end, as she hit a triple off the centerfield wall to score Torres and put Florida up by two runs. Kate Pouliot came in to relieve South Carolina starter Johnson and retired the final Gator batter of the inning.
Torres added an insurance run for the Gators in the top of the sixth as she drove her second home run of the year over the left field fence to give Florida the 3-0 lift.
Stacey Stevens earned the win for Florida to improve her record to 16-6 in her 12th complete game of the year. She struck out eight in the win. Johnson also took the game two loss for the Gamecocks to move her record to 4-6.
The teams will close out the series Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will air live on SEC-TV.