April 16, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 6 University of Tennessee softball team fell to 15th-ranked Florida in a Southeastern Conference softball game on Saturday afternoon. On the offensive side, sophomore shortstop Lindsay Schutzler and sophomore rightfielder India Chiles contributed two hits each. In the circle, sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott tossed four innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on a pair of hits while striking out nine. Freshman hurler Megan Rhodes threw two scoreless innings, allowing a double to the first hitter she faced before retiring the next six Gators.
Both teams had excellent scoring opportunities in the first. In the top of the first, Schutzler led off with an infield hit and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt executed by junior third baseman Kristi Durant. She advanced to third on an ensuing passed ball, but was not able to advance the final 60 feet for a score.
On the strength of a walk and a fielder's choice, in which the attempt to retire the advancing runner on a bunt was unsuccessful, Florida had runners on first and second with nobody out in its half of the first. After sophomore pitcher Monica Abbott retired the next two batters, a third Gator walk loaded the bases before Abbott got out of the jam unscathed.
After Abbott struck out the next six Gators, Florida rallied in the fourth and tallied two runs on the strength of a two-run shot to right off the bat of rightfielder Mandy Schuerman. UF catcher Kristen Butler walked to start the inning.
The Lady Vols got a run back in their half of the fifth to come within one at
2-1. Chiles led off the frame with a line-drive single down the left field
line. After advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Schutzler, she scored
on a liner over the centerfielder's head by freshman first baseman Tonya
Callahan. Now with runners on second and third with one out, the Lady Vols
were unable to plate the tying run as Gator pitcher Stacey Stevens retired the
next two batters to end the frame.
Junior centerfielder Stacey Jennings nearly tied the game leading off the sixth with a solid blast to left, but Gator leftfielder Shelley Stevens ran down the ball at the warning track, right at the fence. With two outs, freshman designated player Kortney Bell walked and Chiles reached on an infield single, but were unable to score.
With one out in the seventh, Callahan hit a towering blast down the left field line which just missed tying the contest. After the ball easily cleared the fence, all eyes went to the umpire who called the ball foul. The Lady Vols were unable to have a runner reach in the seventh and went down to the Gators, 2-1.
The Lady Vols and Florida now play the second game of their doubleheader before facing off in a single contest at 1 p.m. on Sunday.