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Saturday February 11, 2006Softball Loses 7-2 Decision to Oregon

Houston, TX

The No. 19 Florida Softball (0-3) team lost a 7-2 decision to No. 22 Oregon (2-0) in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational in Houston, Texas Saturday. The seven-inning game lasted nearly three hours and was just five minutes short of being the longest seven-inning game in school history.

 

The two teams held each other at bay through four complete innings. Though each team was able to put runners on base, neither was able to get a runner past second.

 

Oregon broke the game open in the top of the fifth. With one out, Sari-Jane Jenkins hit a triple to the left field warning track. She scored on a RBI fielder’s choice by Breanne Sabol. Lovena Chaput hit a double to center to put runners on second and third. Florida junior Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) came in to relieve Florida starter, freshman Lindsay Littlejohn (Bartow, Fla.) in the pitching circle. Both runners scored on a Beth Boskovich base hit to right. Boskovich scored on a Kayleen Hudson base hit to right to put Oregon ahead 4-0.

 

It looked like the Gators were going to narrow the Ducks’ lead in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) drew a lead off walk. Freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) followed with a double to the left centerfield gap. With two outs, senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) hit a base hit to center to load the bases. Junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) came in to pinch hit and struck out swinging to end the inning.

 

Oregon added two more runs in the top of the sixth on three hits and a Gator error. Suzie Barnes led off the inning with a triple. She scored on a Sabol base hit. Sabol added another run on a Chaput double to stretch the Oregon lead to six runs.

 

Florida put up its first run of the game in the bottom half of the sixth. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) started the inning by reaching base on a throwing error by the Oregon catcher after a strikeout. She advanced to second on a passed ball. Pinch hitter sophomore Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) hit a base hit to left to keep the Gators going. Norfleet drew a walk to load the bases. Butler scored on Waleszonia’s base hit to left to narrow the Oregon lead to 6-1.

 

The Ducks added their final run of the game on a lead off home run by Joanna Gail.

 

Cameron tied the school record for career home runs in the bottom of the seventh with her second home run of the season and the 38th of her career.

 

Littlejohn took the loss for Florida, making her record 0-2 on the season. She pitched 4.1 innings and struck out seven. Amy Harris pitched a complete game for Oregon in the win.

 

Waleszonia was an offensive bright spot for the Gators, going 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI on the day. Cameron had a 1-for-2 performance with a run, a RBI and a walk.

 

“Defensively, we looked much better today,” head coach Tim Walton said. “Our fielders kept working hard and really rallied behind our pitchers when they got in tough spots. Offensively, we need to find a different mentality. We have to execute the things we have been practicing everyday and find a way to score runs. We are getting a lot of opportunities, we just have to capitalize on them.”

 

The Gators will take on host Houston at approximately 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on GatorZone.com.

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