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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
DePaul won the tournament with a 4-1 record.
return to action at the Florida Softball Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for a
doubleheader with Hofstra.