Softball Loses Opening Round Game 7-1

The No. 21 Florida softball team lost its opening round game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament to the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs 7-1. Georgia out hit Florida 12-5 in the loss. Florida will now face Tennessee Friday morning at 11 a.m. central time. Second-seeded Tennessee suffered a 8-2 loss to the strong bats of the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first game of the day.

Georgia threatened in the bottom of the first, but pitcher Stacey Stevens and the Florida defense took care of business. With one out in the inning, Katie Lewis had a base hit down the left field line. Shannon McKeon followed with a double down the left field line. Florida right fielder Lacy Howard got the ball in quick to prevent Lewis from advancing any further than third. Stacey Stevens was responsible for the final two outs as she caught a Ashley Godfrey pop up and struck Megan McAllister out looking.

Florida set up a scoring opportunity of its own in the top of the second, but like Georgia was not able to capitalize. First baseman Melissa Zick led off the inning with a base hit through the left side. Second baseman Mylin Prieto followed and was called safe on an error by the Bulldog second baseman. Both runners advanced on a perfectly laid sacrifice bunt by SEC All-Freshman team selection Lauren Roussell. Mandy Schuerman was safe on a fielder's choice, as the Bulldogs threw Zick out at home for the second out of the inning. Schuerman stole second. Catcher Michelle Diaz drew the two out walk to load the bases. The inning ended as Kasi Carroll struck out Lacy Howard for the final out of the inning.

Georgia put the first run of the game on the board in the bottom of the third as catcher Shannon McKeon hit a home run just inside of the left field foul pole.

Georgia went up 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth frame. Courtney Knight led off the inning with a double to left field. She advanced to third on a wild pitch before Kelsey Todd came in to pinch run for her. Todd scored on a sacrifice fly by Jade Jarvis to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.

The Bulldogs added five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. McKeon led off the inning with a walk. Godfrey followed with a base hit through the left side which allowed McKeon to advance to third. McKeon scored on a Megan McAllister base hit. A fielder's choice by Knight found McAllister out at second and advanced Godfrey to third. Godfrey scored on a Jade Jarvis base hit. Senior Amanda Moore came in to relieve Stacey Stevens on the pitching rubber for Florida. Julie Milner drew the two-out walk to load the bases. All three base runners scored on a throwing error to give Georgia the seven-run lead.

Florida scored its run in the top of the seventh. Michelle Diaz led off with a walk and scored on a Jenilee Garner double to right field.

Prieto and Michelle Diaz each reached in all three at bats for Florida. Prieto reached twice on errors and had a base hit. Diaz had two walks and a base hit. She also scored Florida's lone run.

Stevens received the loss for Florida after giving up 10 hits to the Bulldogs. Her record moves to 14-8 on the season. Kasi Carroll earned the win for Georgia to improve her record to 16-6 on the year.

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