SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2004
Softball Falls To No. 24 Michigan State, 4-3
Feb. 14, 2004
TAMPA, Fla. - No. 24 Michigan State took advantage of a pair of costly errors by JU and scored the final two runs in its season opener to come from behind and beat the Dolphins, 4-3, Saturday morning at the USF/Wilson Tournament in Tampa. JU's (5-3) second game against host USF was postponed due to inclement weather. The Dolphins face USF at 4 p.m. and Hofstra at 8 p.m. on Sunday in day two of the tourney.
The Spartans broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth when Dolphin second baseman Ashley Houston (Glen St. Mary, Fla.) booted a ground ball allowing Natalie Furrow to score. Furrow had singled to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a single by Janette Hurtado.
JU took a 3-2 lead in the fifth after erasing an early 2-0 deficit, when senior shortstop Dianna Korcak (Clearwater, Fla.) singled in Houston, who had walked to lead off the inning and then stole second. Monica McGee (Starke, Fla.) singled to move Houston to third and then Korcak picked up her sixth RBI of the season.
The Spartans tied the game in the bottom of the fifth following a hit and a costly error by Korcak. Dayna Feentra doubled to lead off the inning and then advanced to third, when Korcak couldn't handle a Nicole Mercado grounder. Brittney Green dropped a squeeze bunt to third to score Feenstra and tie the game at three.
Michgan State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but JU tied the game in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Lauren Redfern (Jacksonville/Sandalwood). Dolphin ace Katie Dobson (Clearwater, Fla.) suffered her first loss of the season after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 6.0 innings of work. Dobson, who entered the game with 29 strikeouts and just one base-on-balls, walked two batters and struck out one in her fourth start of the season. Jessica Beech got the win for the Spartans, allowing one earned run on five hits with seven strikeouts in the complete-game effort.