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Friday May 20, 2005Softball Loses First Round Game

Gainesville, FL

The Florida Softball team (41-22) lost their first game of NCAA Regional action, 3-2, to Bethune-Cookman Friday afternoon. Florida attempted a late comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough as they brought the score to 3-2 with a runner in scoring position, but could not push the game-tying run across.

Florida got several breaks in the bottom half of the seventh. The Gators came into their half of the final inning down 3-1 with their nine, one and two hitters due up. Mary Ratliff entered the game to pinch hit for Lindsay Norfleet. Ratliff did her job as she drove a base hit just inside the left field line to start a Gator rally. Norfleet reentered the game to run for Ratliff. She advanced to second on a Michelle Diaz strikeout as the third strike got past the Wildcat catcher. Shelley Stevens reached first on an infield base hit. Norfleet reached third on the hit and headed home on an error by the Bethune-Cookman first baseman to bring the score to 3-2. Stevens went to second on the error. Lindsey Cameron stepped up and hit a blooper that looked like it was going to fall in shallow left field, but Wildcat short stop Amber Jackson got to the ball just in time to make the second out of the inning. Melissa Zick struck out swinging for the final out of the game.

Bethune-Cookman was the first team to put a run on the board as Jackson scored on a Sarde Stewart base hit through the left side to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the top of the first.

Florida tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Stacie Pestrak was hit by Lauren McCoy pitch to lead off the inning. She advanced to second on a Shelley Stevens base hit. Lindsey Cameron hit into a double play to retire Stevens, but Pestrak moved to third. Pestrak scored on a Zick RBI single to center field to make the score 1-1.

Capree Williams reached base on an error to lead off the top of the third for Bethune-Cookman and moved all the way to second on the play. Jackson drove a base hit back to Florida pitcher Stacey Stevens to advance Williams to third. Williams came in on a sacrifice by Andrea Thomas to give Bethune-Cookman the 2-1 lead.

The Wildcats final run came in the top of the seventh as Williams scored on three consecutive BCC base hits.

The Gators tallied seven hits on the day. Zick and Shelley Stevens each went 2-for-4.

Florida’s starting pitcher, Stacey Stevens, pitched 6.2 innings in the loss to move her record to 24-13 on the year. Mandy Schuerman pitched the final third of an inning. McCoy earned the win for Bethune-Cookman to improve her record to 19-12.

Florida will now face game one’s losing team, UCF, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. UCF lost to USF 14-3 in the first game of the day. All of Florida’s NCAA Tournament games are broadcast live on WRUF AM 850 in Gainesville and www.wruf.com worldwide. Live video is also available free on GatorVision Online through www.GatorZone.com

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