No. 9 Softball Falls In Florida Tournament Finale

Feb. 17, 2002

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Washington softball team left 11 base runners stranded as the Florida Gators defeated the Huskies for the third time this season, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday, 6-5, in the championship game of the Florida Hotel and Conference Center Invitational. With the loss, the Huskies fell to 14-3 in 2001, while the Gators improved 8-5.

With the score knotted at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Gators' lead-off hitter Mandy Schuerman doubled to left field over UW outfielder Becky Simpson's (Tumwater, Wash.) head. Florida's next batter, Jackie Marchetta, then laid down a sacrifice bunt, which Husky third baseman Kathy Fiske (Temecula, Calif.) fielded and threw to first, but the ball got away from second baseman Steph Nicholson (Tucson, Ariz.) as Schuerman raced home to score the winning run.

The Huskies had an early 2-0 lead after scoring single runs in both the first and third innings, when sophomore Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who finished the day 4-for-4 at the plate, scored a run and later added a RBI triple in the third.

The Gators erased the Washington lead with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the third, capitalizing on two Husky defensive errors in the inning to take a 4-2 lead.

Defensively, Florida turned to strategy to stop the powerful Husky offense, as the Gator pitchers avoided UW junior Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) and freshman Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) by issuing a combined five intentional walks to the pair.

Washington ended the inning with the bases-loaded in both the third and fourth innings, but still managed to tie the score at 4-4 with two unearned runs in the fourth. The UW retook the lead in its next at-bat when Nicholson drove in sophomore Nicole Wicks (Renton, Wash.) with a double to center field to make the score 5-5.

After a two-out solo home run by Florida's Bree Berger tied the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, the Huskies had runners at first and second and one out in the top of the sixth. Gator relief pitcher Amanda Knowles, however, struck out UW junior Traci Tawney (Fall City, Wash.) and sophomore Megan Owen (Spokane, Wash.) to end the threat.

Husky freshman pitcher Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.) took the loss to fall to 4-1 in 2002, after entering in relief of starter freshman Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.) in the third inning. Knowles earned the win to move to 4-0.

The Huskies return to Seattle for three days before heading back out to the East Coast for the NFCA Lead-off Classic, February 22-24, in Columbus, Ga.

Sunday, February 17, 2002 -
#9 Washington vs. Florida
Florida Softball Complex (Gainesville, Fla.)

Score By Innings R H E
UW 1 0 1 2 1 0 0 5 9 3
UF 0 0 4 0 1 0 1 6 8 3

E - Nicholson, Boek, Jeffries, Marchetta 2, Mossadeghi LOB: UW 11, UF 5
2B - Oleson 2, Clark, Nicholson, Shuerman 2 3B - Simpson, Oleson HR - B. Berger
SB - Nicholson
SH - Fiske, Nicholson, B. Berger SF - Mossadeghi
WP - Amanda Knowles (4-0) LP - Leslie Scott (4-1)

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