The Lady Vol softball team visited Gainesville on Friday night to face

Eastern Division foe Florida in the first of two weekend

doubleheaders.

Maintaining the home-field advantage, the Gators would take both

encounters, 2-0 in Game 1 and then 11-1 in five innings to complete a

sweep.

In the opener, senior Lora Pinkerton led off the home team's portion of the

first with a double to the gap in left field. UT starter Jackie Beavers

then retired the next two batters before UF senior Jen Lutsi punched a

single into shallow left to drive in Pinkerton with the first run of the

contest.

The Lady Vols threatened to tie the score at a run apiece in the third, as

junior Janette Koshell laced a two-out single into left field. However,

junior Annie Fletcher was gunned down at the plate after attempting to

score from second base on a relay throw from Florida left fielder Nicole

Kreipl to catcher Andrea Zimbardi.

Fletcher had begun the frame by drawing a walk from UF hurler Beth Dieter.

A fielder's choice by senior April Phillips had given Tennessee runners at

first and second with none out, but Dieter set down juniors Holly Ellison

and Maura Mollet before allowing Koshell's hit.

Neither squad would score again until the bottom of the sixth, when Lutsi

cranked a solo homer to left with one down off Beavers to give the Gators a

2-0 cushion. That was more than enough support for Dieter (15-6), who

scattered four hits and fanned six batters in notching her eighth solo

shutout of the campaign. Beavers was again a tough-luck loser for UT, this

time giving up five hits to fall to 8-10. Sophomore first baseman Maria

Torres had two of the Lady Vols' four hits.

The Gators would take control of the second game from the outset, roughing

up UT rookie pitcher Leslie Poole (5-6) for three runs in the first on a

couple of hits and an error. Florida would bust the game wide open by

plating four more runs in the second stanza to build a 7-0 advantage and

then inflict further damage with four runs in the third off reliever Nicole

Murray. In all, UF would put up a whopping 11 runs in its second straight

conquest of the Lady Vols.

Gator junior pitcher Renise Landry would allow only an infield single to

senior April Phillips and a solo homer to Torres in picking up her 13th win

of the year. The righty would also strike out eight Lady Vols. Junior Emily

Marino was 2-for-3 with five RBIs to lead UF, including a three-run blast

in the third off Murray. Meanwhile, Pinkerton, Nicole Michael and Prissy

Walden each contributed two of Florida's 11 hits.

Tennessee's softball woes in Gainesville continued on Saturday afternoon,

as host Florida captured both ends of a doubleheader for the second

consecutive day. The Gators triumphed 9-4 in the first game and then

wrapped up the series with a 3-2 win with a run in the bottom of the

seventh of Game 2.

With the defeats, including its worst-ever loss to UF, Tennessee falls to

4-11 in league play and 16-21 overall, while Florida improves to 35-17 and

6-6 in conference action. Also, Jim Beitia's club stays winless in six

meetings in the Swamp, while the Gators are an imposing 20-1 on their home

turf in 2000.