SOFTBALL: Gators Split Two In Tournament

The Florida softball team (13-6) earned a first day split Friday in the Cox Communications Invitational, their final home tournament of the regular season. The Gators earned their seventh straight win in game one, stopping Central Michigan, 4-2, but a Florida rally in the seventh came up short as Seton Hall eked out a 4-3 win in game two.

The Gators will face Southern Mississippi at 12:15 Saturday followed by a rematch with Seton Hall at 3 p.m. as the tournament continues.

Stacey Stevens pitched a complete game eight-hitter to lead Florida past Central Michigan. She struck out four and walked two while improving to 5-1 for the year and lowering her team-leading ERA to 2.01.

Florida got on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the third. Kim Waleszonia tripled to right field to score Brooke Johnson and Melissa Zick delivered a two-out single through the left side to score Waleszonia with Florida's second run.

The Gators would improve their lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Laura Templeton drove in Lacy Howard with a sacrifice fly.

Central Michigan cut into the Florida lead in the top of the fifth with a couple of runs. Suzie Giroux walked and adavanced to second on Jacque Benedict's sacrifice bunt. Giroux stole third and scored on Amy Hudson's single. A walk and an error scored Hudson but Stevens pitched her way out of the inning.

Florida countered with an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Lauren Roussell, a fielder's choice and a single by Lindsay Norfleet.

In game two, the Gators dug themselves a 4-0 hole before they started a last inning comeback that came up just short. Zick started the rally with a one-out single to center. Roussell was hit by a pitch and Howard followed with a single to load the bases. Templeton's sacrifice fly brought Zick home and Norfleet followed with a single to re-load the bases. Johnson singled to right field to drive home Roussell and Howard but the rally ended when Johnson was gunned down at second trying to steal.

Florida freshman Lindsay Littlejohn (4-4) was charged with the loss. She pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and striking out nine.

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