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Saturday May 21, 2005Softball Ends Season With 5-3 Loss

Gainesville, FL

The Florida Softball team (41-23) ended its season with a 5-3 loss to UCF in NCAA Regional play in Gainesville Saturday night. The Gators once again attempted a valiant late-inning comeback, but fell just short.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Shelley Stevens reached base on a throwing error by the pitcher Lindsey Enders. Kristen Butler followed with a double to left field, advancing Stevens to third. Melissa Zick put up three runs for the Gators with a three-RBI blast over the left field fence to bring the score to 5-3 in favor of the visiting Knights.

Florida held UCF in the top of the seventh and had three more chances to tie the score in the bottom of the inning, but were not able to get a runner on.

The Knights opened the scoring in the top of the first as Stephanie Best hit a two-out triple down the right field line. She scored the first UCF run on a Gator error.

Nikki Green drew a lead off walk in the top of the second for UCF. She advanced to second on a Kacie Feaster sacrifice bunt. Green scored on a Bryttani Linheim base hit to right center field for a 2-0 Knight lead.

Best led off the top of the third with a double to right center. She advanced to third on a Enders ground out and scored on a Gator error for a 3-0 lead.

The Knights added two more runs in the top of the fourth to put the Knights up 5-0. The Gator defense took care of business in the following innings as relieving pitchers Amanda Knowles and Mandy Schuerman retired the batters in order in the fifth and sixth and only allowed one on in the seventh.

Zick had a great day for the Gators with a 2-for-3 performance with a run scored and three RBI.

The Gators say good-bye to seniors Knowles, Schuerman, Ashlie Goble and Nikki Baldwin. Florida returns all of its starters, except for Schuerman, for 2006.

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