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Sunday May 8, 2005Softball Completes Sweep

Gainesville, FL

The Florida Softball team (41-19, 18-12 SEC) won the final game of the series with Kentucky in Lexington on Motherís Day with an 8-0 shut out of the Wildcats (20-41, 4-25 SEC)

Florida opened the scoring in the first inning. With two outs and Melissa Zick on second Mandy Schuerman hit an RBI single to left center to give Florida a 1-0 lead.

The Gators added a second run in the top of the second with two outs. Lauren Roussell grabbed Samantha Allenís first offering to her and took it over the left field fence, just inside the foul pole to give the Gators the two-run lead.

Kentucky threatened in the bottom of the second as they got runnerís on the cornerís with only one out. Katie Campbell headed in from third on a fly to right by Gina Florence, but Lacy Howard threw a beeline into Kristen Butler at home for the double play to end the inning.

Florida continued its steady pace in the top of the third. Three consecutive base hits by Shelley Stevens, Zick and Schuerman loaded the bases for Kristen Butler. Butler hit a a fly ball into left foul territory, that the Kentucky left fielder caught, allowing the speedy Stevens to score from third.

The Gators once again loaded the bases in the top of the fourth on base hits by Stacie Pestrak and Lindsey Cameron and an error by the Kentucky third baseman that found Shelley Stevens safe at first. A Zick sacrifice fly to right scored Pestrak from third for the fourth Gator run of the game.

Lead off batter Butler took a 1-0 Allen offering over the fence in left field for Floridaís fifth run of the game. With one out, Lacy Howard knocked a base hit into right field. Lindsay Norfleet walked. Laura Templeton grabbed her third hit of the series to load the bases. Cameron picked up her 46th RBI of the season on an infield base hit. Pinch hitter Lisa Hasson was safe at first on a fielderís choice, but Norfleet got thrown out at home for the second out of the inning, leaving the bases still loaded. Melissa Zick was hit by a Amy Kendall pitch to bring in Pestrak, running for Templeton, for the 7-0 Gator lead.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Mary Ratliff started a Gator rally with a base hit, making her 3-for-3 as a pinch hitter in the series. Howard was safe on a fielderís choice and Ratliff was safe at second on an error by the Kentucky second baseman. Norfleet drew h er second walk of the day to load the bases. Florida scored its eighth run to secure its third mercy rule win of the season on an error by the second baseman.

The Southeastern Conference Tournament begins Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Florida Softball Stadium. Games yet to finish today will determine the pairing for the tournament. Florida is assured the fifth seed and will take on Tennessee at 5 p.m. The complete bracket will be released Monday morning.

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