Softball falls twice in the first day of the JU tournament

Feb. 9, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University softball team slightly fell out of the starting blocks to start the season on Friday night as they lost Minnesota, 11-1, and Southern Illinois, 7-2, on the first day of the JU Tournament at the JU Softball Complex.

Freshman Ashley Mora led the Dolphins' (0-2) offensively by going 2-for-5 on the night with two doubles and two RBI. Senior Renee LaCroix and junior Sara Gordon also picked up two hits during the first day.

"Obviously, I'm not happy about our losses, but there are some positives," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "I really liked the team's attitude, focus and commitment during the games today. I told the girls that games against quality teams like the ones in this tournament will help us get better equipped to face our conference schedule."

In the first game, the Golden Gophers (2-0) jumped to a 6-0 lead off five hits in the second inning. Colleen Powers drove home the first run of the game off JU starter and eventual losing pitcher Shannon Jensen on a one-out infield single to first base, while Lisa Parks capped off the inning with a two-run looping homer of the right field fence.

Gordon led the fourth inning with a single to left field for JU. After a bunt attempt by Jillian Mirante, Mora plated Gordon on a sacrifice fly to left field.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Parks would hit her second home run of the day off to extend the Golden Gophers lead to 8-1.

Mandy Valadez secured the win for Minnesota with a three-run home run in the sixth inning.

Jensen (0-1) tossed 5.1 innings and allowed 11 runs on 10 hits with five hits, while striking out five batters.

Rene Konderik (1-0) earned the win for the Golden Gophers after surrendering one unearned run on four hits in six innings.

In the night cap, the Salukis (1-1) would take early advantage with a three-hit four-run first inning off senior Katie Buell.

Trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning, the Dolphins used back-to-back doubles to score two runs on two outs to chip at the lead..

Senior Valerie Alter reached first base on a throwing error by the third baseman. Alter would later steal second and be plated by junior Patricia Melo, with a double to center field. Mora followed with a double to the same spot to plate Melo.

Southern Illinois picked a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and worked out of a lead off double by LaCroix in the seventh inning to earn the win.

Ashley Hamby (1-0) went the distance in the circle to earn the win for the Salukis after allowing two unearned runs on four hits and eight strikeouts.

Buell (0-1) took the loss by surrendering six runs on four hits and seven walks, while fanning three batters in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman Ashley Iveson allowed one run on one hit with three walks and three strikeouts in her Dolphin debut.

In earlier tournament action, UNC-Greensboro defeated Southern Illinois, 9-1, in six innings, but would later fall to Minnesota, 1-0, to wrap up the day.

JU is back to action on Saturday for the second day of the JU Tournament. They open with Minnesota at noon and finish with Southern Illinois at 2 p.m.