Softball Suffers Loss in NCAA First Round

The Florida softball team could not get their bats going at opportune times as they lost 2-1 to Cal State Northridge in the first round of the NCAA Region Four tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. Thursday afternoon. Florida was out hit 6-4 and gave up six walks in the loss.

Michelle Diaz earned Florida's first hit as she grabbed the first pitch of the third inning to right field for a single. Shelley Stevens came in to pinch run for her, but was called out for leaving early.

Cal State Northridge scored first in the top of the fourth. With one out in the inning and a runner on second, Jenny Cochran was safe on a fielder's choice as Kristen Butler fielded the intended sacrifice and threw out the lead runner. Darcy Hillstrom came in to pinch run for Cochran at first. Jade Abel drove a double to the middle of the wall in left center to score Hillstrom. It looked as if the scoring would continue as Christen Bedwell singled to short stop and Emilee Moores walked to load the bases. The Florida defense buckled down and took care of business as Stacey Stevens struck out Kia Fennell and Mandy Schuerman caught a Sondra Milchiker fly ball for the third out.

Florida tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Schuerman hit a solo home run just inside the left field foul pole.

The Matadors went up 2-1 in the top of the sixth on a lead off home run by Bedwell. Schuerman made a spectacular defensive play to end the inning as she dove to catch a fly ball in right center as it was about to hit the ground, then threw it to Melissa Zick at first to catch the runner who had not yet tagged up.

Stacey Stevens struck out eight batters in the loss. It was the most batters she had struck out since striking out 10 at Northridge on March 12. Stevens' record now moves to 14-10.

Florida will now face the loser of the Florida State vs. Long Island game Friday morning at 10 a.m.

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