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Lindsay Littlejohn pitched the first no hitter by a freshman in Florida history on Sunday.

Sunday February 19, 2006Littlejohn Pitches No Hitter in Softball Win

Gainesville, FL

Lindsay Littlejohn pitched the first no hitter by a freshman in Florida history on Sunday.

University of Florida freshman Lindsay Littlejohn (Bartow, Fla.) pitched the seventh no hitter and the first by a freshman in school history to lead the Florida softball team (7-5) to a 6-0 win over Longwood (0-5) in the final game of the GRU Classic on Sunday at the Florida Softball Stadium. The Gators split games in the final day of the tournament after losing a 4-0 decision to No. 1 Michigan (3-2) in the first game of the day. Florida finished the tournament with a 4-2 record.


Littlejohn recorded five strikeouts, walked two batters and hit two against Longwood on the way to twirling the first no hitter since Jenny Gladding did on April 18, 2003 against Tennessee. Her record improves to 2-3 on the season with the win.


Florida scored all six of its runs against Longwood in the bottom of the second. Junior Lauren Roussell (Cerritos, Calif.) led off the inning with an infield base hit. Littlejohn reached on an error by the Longwood second baseman, allowing Roussell to advance to third. Senior Lindsay Norfleet (Madison, Fla.) laid a bunt single down right in front of the plate to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Freshman Kim Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Roussell to score, but Littlejohn was out at third on the play. Freshman Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) drew a walk to load the bases again. Norfleet scored from third on a sacrifice fly by senior Lindsey Cameron (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) to put Florida up 2-0. Senior Kristen Butler (Orlando, Fla.) hit her sixth home run of the season to add three more runs to the Gator tally. Junior Melissa Zick (Tampa, Fla.) drove a double down the left field line to continue the Gator rally. She scored the final Florida run as junior Lacy Howard (League City, Texas) reached on a Longwood error.


“I thought we played good defense today,” Walton said. “This week in practice we are going to work more on our offense. We need to get better with our short game. We also are going to have to work on better pitch selection at the plate. I was really happy with Lindsay Littlejohn’s performance today. She was throwing harder than she had this season. She is a real competitor. She also fielded her position well and any time your pitcher can do that and help herself out, it gives a boost to the rest of the defense.”


In the first game of the day, the Gators lost 4-0 to defending national champion Michigan. The Gators played great defense, but Michigan put 11 hits on the board to the Gators’ three for the win.


In the bottom of the first, Michigan loaded the bases and looked as if they were going to score on a sacrifice fly to center, but the runner at third left before the ball was caught and left the playing field before returning to base. Florida head coach Tim Walton appealed the play and the runner was called out, ending the inning without any Michigan runs on the board.


Michigan scored its first run in the bottom of the third frame as Alessandra Giampaolo scored on a Becky Marx single down the left field line. It looked as if there could be more trouble for the Gators as Michigan loaded the bases with no outs, but Teddi Ewing popped up to Florida’s Johnson at third for the unassisted double play and Florida reliever freshman Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) struck out the final batter of the inning with Michigan only leading 1-0.


Michigan scored three more runs in the bottom of the next inning as Marx hit a bases-clearing double to right field for the only extra base hit of the day by either team to give the Wolverines the 4-0 lead.


Florida was not able to get a runner past second in the final three innings to end the game with the 4-0 Michigan win.


Both teams replaced their starting pitchers in the third inning. Michigan ace Jennie Ritter replaced starter Stacy Delaney after a Howard base hit put Zick at third with two outs in the top of the third. Ritter struck out the final Gator batter of the inning and added five more strikeouts in the final four innings to improve her record to 2-0 on the year with the win. Junior Stacey Stevens (Gainesville, Fla.) started the game for Florida, but was relieved by Nelson after she allowed Giampaolo on base with a leadoff walk in the third. Stevens was credited with the loss, her first of the season.


Waleszonia was an offense spark for the Gators on the day as she went 4-for-5 with a run and a RBI in the two games. She led the team in hitting through the whole weekend, hitting .412 over the six games.


No. 21 DePaul won the tournament with a 4-1 record.


The Gators return to action at the Florida Softball Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for a doubleheader with Hofstra.

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