Bethune-Cookman 3, Florida
Bethune-Cookman 3, Florida 2May 20, 2005
The Florida Softball team (41-22) lost their first game of NCAA Regional action, 3-2, to Bethune-Cookman Friday afternoon. Florida attempted a late comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but it was not enough as they brought the score to 3-2 with a runner in scoring position, but could not push the game-tying run across.
Florida got several breaks in the bottom half of the seventh. The Gators came into their half of the final inning down 3-1 with their nine, one and two hitters due up. Mary Ratliff entered the game to pinch hit for Lindsay Norfleet. Ratliff did her job as she drove a base hit just inside the left field line to start a Gator rally. Norfleet reentered the game to run for Ratliff. She advanced to second on a Michelle Diaz strikeout as the third strike got past the Wildcat catcher. Shelley Stevens reached first on an infield base hit. Norfleet reached third on the hit and headed home on an error by the Bethune-Cookman first baseman to bring the score to 3-2. Stevens went to second on the error. Lindsey Cameron stepped up and hit a blooper that looked like it was going to fall in shallow left field, but Wildcat short stop Amber Jackson got to the ball just in time to make the second out of the inning. Melissa Zick struck out swinging for the final out of the game.
Bethune-Cookman was the first team to put a run on the board as Jackson scored on a Sarde Stewart base hit through the left side to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the top of the first.
Florida tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Stacie Pestrak was hit by Lauren McCoy pitch to lead off the inning. She advanced to second on a Shelley Stevens base hit. Lindsey Cameron hit into a double play to retire Stevens, but Pestrak moved to third. Pestrak scored on a Zick RBI single to center field to make the score 1-1.
Capree Williams reached base on an error to lead off the top of the third for Bethune-Cookman and moved all the way to second on the play. Jackson drove a base hit back to Florida pitcher Stacey Stevens to advance Williams to third. Williams came in on a sacrifice by Andrea Thomas to give Bethune-Cookman the 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats final run came in the top of the seventh as Williams scored on three consecutive BCC base hits.
The Gators tallied seven hits on the day. Zick and Shelley Stevens each went 2-for-4.
Floridas starting pitcher, Stacey Stevens, pitched 6.2 innings in the loss to move her record to 24-13 on the year. Mandy Schuerman pitched the final third of an inning. McCoy earned the win for Bethune-Cookman to improve her record to 19-12.
Florida will now face game ones losing team, UCF, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. UCF lost to USF 14-3 in the first game of the day. All of Floridas NCAA Tournament games are broadcast live on WRUF AM 850 in Gainesville and www.wruf.com worldwide. Live video is also available free on GatorVision Online through www.GatorZone.com
-- Florida is 0-2 against Bethune-Cookman this season.
-- This was the first ever win by Bethune-Cookman over Florida at the Florida Softball Complex.
-- Florida is making its sixth NCAA Regional appearance in its nine-year existance.
-- Bethune-Cookman earned its first NCAA at-large Bid and became the first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team to receive an at-large bid.
-- Florida has lost its last two opening games in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
-- Florida pitcher Stacey Stevens surrendered only one earned run in the contest marking the 10th time this season that the sophomore has allowed only a single earned run to cross the plate.
Head Coach Karen Johns
I think the eight runners left on base and the two errors at third base broke open the gates for them. It gave them that emotional push. I thought that we were ready and that we had matched what they were going to bring. We came back and scored when they scored. We stayed right in rhythm, but you cant give them that many runs in the postseason and you cant leave that many on base.
On seventh inning:
The little pop ups and things like that are going to fall because thats just the breaks of the game. The routine ground ball that is hit right to us and we cant make the play is where it causes more damage. I think that Missy is a little down because she didnt dive for that ball when she had worked so hard all week on her diving and keeping the ball in the infield. Unfortunately I think that she had a let down in the at bat because she was disappointed in herself. You reach a point when you start trying too hard and I think thats the point were at right now.
Sophomore Melissa Zick
On her last at bat:
I was looking for a good pitch to hit. She threw me a good pitch and struck me out.
Sophomore Stacey Stevens
On todays loss and tomorrows game:
Weve done this plenty of times in the past (won doubleheaders). Were not done. Were not even close to done. Its just going to be a little harder to get there thats all.
On her pitching performance:
I felt good out there today. Bethune capitalized on a few of our defensive errors and they left very few runners in scoring position. They were able to score their players from second and third and its tough to beat a team when they do that consistently.
On her teams intensity:
Bethune is a tough team to stay above emotionally, but its something we talked about all week going into this. I think we did a great job in the seventh and were very intense, but its a matter of starting that innings one through six.
Senior Mandy Schuerman
On tomorrows game:
Were going to come out fighting hard tomorrow. Were just going to have to take the opponent and try to mow over everybody we have left. At this point we have nothing to lose. Were going to put runs across. Were going to have good defense and pitching. Well try to do the best that we can.
Head Coach Laura Watten
On the teams win:
Its huge. This team is confident and in their hearts they knew that they deserved to be here. Theyve played a list of tight games and had a lot of one-run losses. Weve been to regionals four times before. Weve been right there on the cusp of winning and getting over that hump. We just came out and let everything go.
On Lauren McCoy:
Shes awesome. She drives this team in so many ways. I let her take control and I let her run things out there. I let her take charge and the team follows her lead.
Senior Lauren McCoy
On Floridas Seventh inning:
Florida came out with incredible energy. We had made some defensive adjustments early in the game and that may have played a factor. The bottom line is we buckled down and finished the game.
On her complete game:
It feels great. Everything I do, I do for this program and this team
On her teams confidence:
Weve looked at the teams on our schedule and come to the conclusion that the only team that can beat us is us.
Junior Amber Johnson
On the her defensive performance:
I try to keep the defense up and keep up the confidence (of the defense), regardless of whether I make an error or someone else makes an error.
On her teams confidence:
We always have confidence. We go out and play our game and were confident that we can win.
-- Courtesy Florida