SATURDAY, APRIL 05, 2014
@JUsoftball Falls Twice at North Florida
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University softball suffered a double-header loss on Saturday at North Florida and will conclude the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Jacksonville drops to 14-22 overall and 5-11 in the Atlantic Sun while North Florida improves to 21-18 and 6-11, respectively.

Lexie Ballard led on the day hitting .667 (4-for-6) with one run and two doubles.

GAME ONE: NORTH FLORIDA 4, JACKSONVILLE 3 (EIGHT INNINGS)

JU charged to open the first contest on Karson Tuck’s three-run homer in the top of the first frame before UNF gained momentum. The Ospreys tallied one run apiece in the bottom of the third, fourth and fifth innings to tie the game 3-all and eventually won in the bottom of the eighth inning on a walk-off sac fly.

Ballard finished 3-for-4, followed by Tuck (1-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI). JU earned three runs on eight hits and one error while UNF garnered four runs on eight hits and three errors.

Scoring on Tuck’s three-run long ball, Victoria Brown initially reached first base on a fielder’s choice, Emily Sanchez reached on a fielder’s choice, pinch runner Adrienne Ramsay entered at first base and Tuck followed with her homer to left.

JU then loaded the bases when Ballard singled, Stephanie Frances reached first base on a fielding error and Brooke Smith singled to shortstop, but the Fins were unable to score another run as a strikeout ended the inning.

UNF scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when Katie Mandigo scored from third base on a wild pitch. Mandigo reached base with a double to left center and advanced to third base on Lexi Taylor’s sac bunt. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Ashia Kerr’s RBI single to right field plated Rachel Engel for a 3-2 score and in the bottom of the fifth inning Danica Mandarano tied the game 3-3 with a solo shot to right field.

Brown made a standout defensive play to end UNF’s chances of adding a score when Abby Tewey singled to center, and on Holton’s attempt to tag, Brown threw to Smith at the plate for the called out.

Scoreless through the sixth and seventh innings, UNF won the game on Engel’s RBI walk-off sac fly that plated Thomas from third base.

In the circle, UNF’s Cortney Radke struck out six and allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk.

Brown fanned three and allowed three runs (three earned) on five hits, one wild pitch and one walk in 4.1 innings of work. Taylor Rossman entered in the bottom of the fifth inning, striking out one and allowing one run (one earned) on three hits.

GAME TWO: NORTH FLORIDA 3, JACKSONVILLE 2

UNF’s Marissa Thomas hit the game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Osprey’s a 3-2 victory and series win over JU.

Tewey put the second game’s first run on the board in the bottom of the first frame when she blasted an RBI double to center field that scored Thomas from first base. Thomas initially walked. JU evened the score in the top of the second inning on Smith’s RBI single to right field that scored Ballard from second base.

Holton pushed UNF to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning after hitting an RBI double to deep center to plate Taylor from third base before Charli Bradshaw’s RBI single up the middle in the top of the fifth inning evened the game at 2-all.

The game was halted in the top of the fifth inning with two outs and Bradshaw on second base because of a lightning delay that lasted one hour and 35 minutes after two visible strikes. When play resumed, Bradshaw took second base until Ballard struck out swinging to end the frame.

In the circle, Jessi Walker (2-3) struck out two and allowed three runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks. Rossman pitched 1.0 inning of relief and fanned one.

UNF’s Kayla Goff started and allowed one run (one earned) on three hits and one walk before Kaylie Wallace entered for relief and allowed one run (one earned) on two hits and one walk.

Jacksonville will conclude its series on UNF on Sunday at 1 p.m.