Florida falls in SEC softball final

By Times wires
Published May 13, 2007

AUBURN, Ala. - Rachel Mitchell and Leslie Klein led off the ninth with doubles to give LSU a 1-0 victory over Florida in the SEC softball tournament final. The title is the Tigers' seventh in the 11-year history of the event.

Dani Hofer, a graduate of Palm Harbor University High, allowed one hit and one walk and struck out nine in 4 2/3 innings of relief to earn the win and be named tournament MVP.

"I knew I needed to ... hold the batters down so our offense could do the job, " Hofer said. "It took a couple of extra innings, but I knew sooner or later they were going to get it done."

The Gators, who have lost 11 straight to the Tigers, had runners on in every inning but the sixth and ninth and stranded 10.

GA. TECH 7, FSU 3: Caitlin Lever's three-run homer helped lift the Jackets past the hosts in the ACC semifinals. Tech faces Virginia Tech, which beat North Carolina 3-0, at noon today. Lever's shot in the first made it 3-1. It became 7-2 in the fifth with help from an error and bases-loaded walk.

BIG EAST: Louisville, which ousted USF on Friday, scored the winner in the sixth to beat host Notre Dame 3-2 in the final.


USF 8, SETON HALL 2: Freshman Shawn Sanford struck out 11 over seven innings for the visiting Bulls. USF (30-21, 12-11 Big East) scored five (four unearned) in the seventh, which included two errors, two wild pitches, a passed ball and hit batsman.

CLEMSON 7, FSU 6: Doug Hogan beat out a double-play grounder to cap the visiting Tigers' ninth-inning rally. The loss was the first for the Seminoles (43-8, 21-5) when leading after three. Down 6-4, Taylor Harbin's bases-loaded double with one out tied it. Ben Paulsen was walked intentionally, but FSU couldn't turn two on a grounder to third.

FLORIDA 8, LSU 4: The Gators (27-25, 14-12) clinched their first series win in Baton Rouge. Brian Leclerc, a graduate of Northside Christian in St. Petersburg, had a run-scoring double in a three-run sixth and three-run homer in a four-run seventh.

MEN'S TENNIS: Visiting Florida beat FSU 4-3 to reach the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators play at Georgia at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Seminoles earned the doubles point then won the first two singles matches completed. But wins by Greg Ouellette, Jesse Levine and Nestor Briceno got the Gators even. Then Jordan Dolberg finished a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Maciek Sykut.

WOMEN'S TENNIS: USF and host Florida won first-round matches in the NCAA Tournament and meet at 1 today for a berth in the Round of 16. The Gators beat Jacksonville 4-0, getting the doubles point and wins from Nina Suvak, Csilla Borsanyi and Whitney Benik. The Bulls beat Florida International 4-3 on wins by Shadisha Robinson, Jessica Sweeting, Liz Cruz and Iciri Rai. ... FSU beat San Diego State 4-0 and faces host UCLA at 4 today. It got the doubles point and wins from Nicola Slater, Lauren Macfarlane and Jessica Wente.

WOMEN'S GOLF: Caroline Westrup became the first Seminole to qualify for the NCAA finals as an individual. The sophomore shot 2-under 70 in the final round of the East Regional in Baton Rouge, La., to tie for fifth, the best among those whose teams did not qualify. FSU tied for 11th, five shots out of the eighth and final berth for the finals May 22-25 in Daytona Beach. USF finished 17th. ... Florida finished 10th, two shots out of the final berth, in the West Regional in St. George, Utah. Results, 11C


NCAA softball tournament

Florida, Florida State and USF must hope for at-large bids. The field will be announced between 3 and 4 p.m. today on ESPNEWS.