Roundup: Horton, Moultrie lead Florida softball
Published: Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 5, 2012 at 12:02 a.m.
Florida softball used two Kelsey Horton RBIs and a senior Michelle Moultrie inside-the-park home run to beat the Campbell Fighting Camels, 4-0, in its final contest of Florida's home-hosted Lipton Invitational. Florida went 5-0 in the tournament.
The Gators improved to 19-1 on the 2012 season with the win over CU, just three days before opening 2012 Southeastern Conference play. Florida head coach Tim Walton improved to 350-81 (.812) all-time at the helm of the Gator softball program with UF's win over Campbell. Walton will lead UF into league action at Mississippi State Wednesday with a mid-week doubleheader March 7, followed by a three-game weekend series at Tennessee.
GYMNASTICS: At Lincoln, Neb., the No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (10-1, 5-1 SEC) finished its regular-season road schedule with a come-from-behind win at No. 6 Nebraska (10-2, 2-0 Big 10) at the Bob Devaney Center. The Gators took the win with a total of 196.95 and Nebraska posted a final total of 196.825.
Nebraska led the meet through each of the first three rotations and owned a slender 0.05 lead as the Cornhuskers headed to the floor exercise for their final event.
Florida rotated to balance beam and knew that the score was tight. Adding to the pressure was a beam miss by freshman Rachel Spicer, putting the focus squarely on the team's final four performers to hit to give Florida a chance at the meet's team title.
One after another, the final four turned in steady and solid performances. All-Americans Alaina Johnson and Ashanée Dickerson each turned in marks of 9.85 and freshman Kytra Hunter posted a 9.875. Junior All-American Marissa King anchored the beam set with a 9.925 — matching meet's highest mark of the day — for her third consecutive beam win and sixth of the season.
WOMEN'S TENNIS: At Athens, Ga., like she's done several times before when the team outcome in a big match was on the line, Lauren Embree stepped up and won a thrilling three-set singles match and helped 15th-ranked Florida earn a 4-3 victory against No. 5 Georgia.
Florida began the match by winning the doubles point, but not before Georgia captured the opening doubles match and forced the Gators (8-1, 2-0 SEC) to win the remaining two on court, including the showdown on court one, where UF's No. 13-ranked pair of Sofie Oyen and Allie Will upset No. 6 Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist, 8-4. The Gator tandem of Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather then earned an 8-6 clinching victory against Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring to take the doubles point.
MEN'S TENNIS: The 10th-ranked Florida men's tennis came up just short at home against No. 6 Georgia, losing 4-3, at Linder Stadium. After falling behind 3-0 in the match, the Gators rallied with wins at No. 2, 3 and 6 singles before the Bulldogs closed it out with a three set win at No. 1 singles.
Florida (8-4, 1-1 SEC) fell behind early by losing the doubles point, and then Georgia (11-1, 2-0) used wins at No. 4 and No. 5 singles to build a 3-0 lead. The Gators got on the board with a win from Tripper Carleton over No. 11 Sadio Doumbia, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
Nassim Slilam then closed out his match in straight sets against 35th-ranked KU Singh, 7-6 (2), 6-2, to pull Florida within a point. Fighting through some tightness, Michael Alford finished off UGA's Nathan Pasha at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 7-5, marking his 12th-consecutive victory and seventh-straight dual win.