March 19, 2008
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Gainesville, FL – The University of Iowa softball team was defeated, 6-1, by third-ranked Florida Wednesday at Pressly Stadium. Iowa falls to 18-9 on the season despite out-hitting the Gators, 8-6.
“We are battling through some injuries and illness right now,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “Florida is a quality team and it’s always tough to play a team of that caliber at their home field. We would love the opportunity to play them again down the road, because we know we can play with a team like that.”
Florida took command of the game with a five-run second inning. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs to start the frame. Iowa nearly escaped the inning with a fly ball to junior Erin Riemersma at shortstop followed by a force out at home, but back-to-back triples by the Gators kept the inning alive.
The Gators added another run in the fourth off an RBI single up the middle by Aja Paculba for a 6-0 advantage.
Sophomore Katie Brown cut the Florida lead to 6-1 with a solo home run. Brown took a 1-0 pitch from Florida pitcher Stephanie Brombacher and blasted it over the left field fence. Brown’s round-tripper was only the sixth home run Florida’s pitching staff has allowed this season.
The Hawkeyes came close to plating another run in the inning but sophomore Taylor Leichsenring was tagged out in a pickle between third and home. Leichsenring reached on a fielder’s choice and hustled around to third on a single by freshman Chelsey Carmody, who then tried to reach second base. Leichsenring dashed for home, but the throw from second caught her in a rundown and she was eventually tagged out.
Iowa once again threatened in the sixth, but couldn’t knock in a run. Back-to-back single by Riemersma and senior Emily Nichols followed by a Colleen McGlaughlin walk loaded the bases with one out. Florida got out of the jam with a strikeout and a force out at third to keep the Hawkeyes off the scoreboard.
Carmody and Riemersma each collected two hits to lead Iowa at the plate.
Junior Brittany Weil took the loss and is now 11-8. She threw one and two-thirds innings, and allowed five earned runs on three hits while walking two. Sophomore Amanda Zust tossed four and one-thirds innings relief and gave up one unearned run on three hits and also walked two batters.
Iowa will play its final game in the Sunshine State Thursday when it faces Central Florida at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) in Orlando.