April 10, 2004
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The South Carolina Gamecocks surrendered a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning as the Florida Gators scored four runs to win 4-3 and claim the doubleheader sweep. USC fell to 21-15 and 10-13 in the SEC. The Gamecocks recorded three runs on eight hits. The series will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET).
Melanie Henkes (5-7), who entered the game with the lead, took the loss for USC as she allowed four runs on three hits in two innings pitched. Florida reliever Amanda Moore (5-0) earned the win as she only gave up three hits in five innings pitched and struck out four.
The Gamecocks bounced back from their game one loss early in game two. USC scored in the first when Nancy Crane came home on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Smith. In the second, USC added two more runs when Aleca Johnson hit her first home run of the season, a shot to left centerfield, to drive in Kristin Hall, who reached on a single and put USC up 3-0.
In the third, Carolina had a chance to build on its lead as they had the bases loaded with one out but a play was made at the plate and a USC strikeout stranded the runners to end the inning with no runs scoring.
Johnson started the fourth inning but after one out and two hits, the Seneca, S.C. native was taken out of the game for Henkes. Henkes retired the next two batters to get the Gamecocks safely out of the inning.
The sixth inning is where the Gators rallied. Jenilee Garner and Mandy Schuerman led off with back-to-back singles before Melissa Zick reached first on an error by Amber Curtis to load the bases. With no outs, Mylin Prieto then doubled down the left field line to score two runs and bring Florida to within one. Zick, who represented the tying run, scored on a ground out to tie the game 3-3.
Henkes then hit Lauren Roussell with a pitch before Johnson was brought back in to pitch. Nikki Baldwin was brought in to pinch run for Roussell and during her attempt to steal second, catcher Ashley Smith attempted to throw Baldwin out but there was no one to cover the base and as the ball rolled out into the outfield, Prieto scored from third to give Florida the lead 4-3.
Johnson was able to eventually get out of the inning with a foul out and a fly out but not before the damage was done.
USC had one more chance in the top of the seventh but the Gamecocks went down in order as Moore recorded a strikeout and two groundouts to preserve the win for the Gators and claim the series win.
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