Mount St. Mary's Softball Falls to Florida A&M and No. 4 Florida on Opening Day of Florida Tournament

Gainesville, Fla. (March 1, 2003)--The Mount St. Mary's softball team opened the Florida Tournament with a pair of losses on Friday.  The Mount was edged by Florida A&M, 4-3, before falling to No. 4 Florida, 8-2, in the evening.  Nicole Pagano struck out 14 in the loss to the nationally-ranked Gators.

In the opening game, the Rattlers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but the Mount's Megan Baker scored on a Rachel Gavigan pinch-hit sacrfice fly in the top of the third to even the score.

Florida A&M regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, but the Mount (0-7) scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 advantage.  Erin Leddy singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.  Baker then singled and moved to second on the throw, putting runners on second and third with one out.  Leddy and Baker then scored on an error to give the Mount the lead.

Florida A&M, however, rallied for a run in the fifth to tied the game at 3-3.  Liz Christiansen doubled to lead off the sixth, but the Mount was unable to even the scored, and Florida A&M earned the win with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.

Danielle Cummings took the loss, allowing three earned runs while tossing a complete game.

The Mount then fell to No. 4 Florida (19-1) in the evening.  Starting pitcher Nicole Pagano started strong, striking out the side in the top of the first.  The Gators, however, took control of the game with four unearned runs in the second inning. 

Florida added two more runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead.  The Mount got on the scoreboard when Alexa Tuck singled and came around to score on a Gavigan two-base hit.

The Gators scored a single run in the sixth, but the Mount's Cat Clifford belted a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-2.

Pagano struck out 14 batters in the game and limited the Gators to just six hits, in the complete-game loss.

The Mount is back in action on Saturday against Presbyterian and Florida A&M.