TUESDAY, MARCH 08, 2005
Softball Splits Doubleheader With Virginia Tech
March 8, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Led by junior Katie Pestrak's (Gainesville, Fla.) first career home run, the JU softball team salvaged a split in a doubleheader against Virginia Tech (20-4) Tuesday night at the JU Softball Complex. The Dolphins fell in the first game in eight innings, 8-4, after freshman Shannon Jensen (Callahan, Fla.) tied up the game in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run blast, the first homer of her career. An error in the top of the eighth cost JU dearly, allowing three unearned runs to score to give the Hokies the 8-4 win. JU rebounded in game two, scoring eight runs to get their second win over an ACC foe in program history, 8-3.
In the second game, JU went ahead for good in the third, when Pestrak hit a shot over the left field wall to plate herself and freshman Jillian Mirante (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), putting the Dolphins up 4-2. JU added four more in the fourth, thanks to three errors by the Hokies. Virginia Tech tried to rally with the bases loaded and one down in the fifth, but a line shot to junior second baseman Ashley Houston (Glen St. Mary's, Fla.) nearly got JU out of the jam. However, her throw to try to double off Megan Evans got away from first baseman Lauren Redfern (Jacksonville/Sandalwood), allowing a Hokie run to score. On the next pitch, junior Katie Dobson (Clearwater, Fla.) got Sarah Prosise to fly out to right to end the inning.
Dobson pitched 6.0 innings, striking out seven while giving up five hits and three runs (two earned) to pick up her fourth win of the season. Karie Morrison took the lost for Virginia Tech.
"Katie (Dobson) threw well for us today," said JU head coach Jeff Franquet. "We took advantage of their mistakes in game two, which is what good teams do."
Game one saw the Dolphins force extra innings on Jensen's two-run shot on the first pitch she saw in the seventh. JU threatened to end the game there, getting two runners in scoring position with one out, but relief pitcher Angela Tincher shut the door, striking out senior Mayte Diaz (Silver Springs, Fla.) on three pitches and getting Pestrak to foul out.
With the international tiebreak rule in effect in the eighth, JU nearly got out of the inning unscathed. With the bases loaded and one out, Jensen got a force out at the plate before Caitlin Murphy hit a ball deep in the hole at shortstop that junior Stephanie Farabee (Jacksonville/Arlington Country Day) could not stop. Diaz threw the ball to the plate, and Redfern tried to get Ciara Chaffee, who took a big turn at third base. But Redfern's throw was wild, going into the dugout to plate Chaffee and Kelly Brown to give Virginia Tech a 7-4 advantage. A pickoff attempt by Redfern at third got away from Lindsey Freitag (Lake Stevens, Wash.) to plate the final Hokie run.
Virginia Tech took a 4-1 lead in the sixth with two RBI doubles and an RBI single in the frame. The Dolphins got one back in the bottom half of the inning when junior Kacey Yourous (Hardin, Ky.) doubled home Redfern, who led off the inning with her A-Sun leading ninth double of the year.
JU tied up the game in the bottom of the fifth when junior Janine Palumbo (Clearwater, Fla.) drove in Pestrak with a sacrifice fly. The Hokies took the initial lead in the third when Brown singled home Caroline Stolle.
"Shannon did a good job in the circle for us in game one," Franquet said. "It was good to see her hit that home run to give us a chance to win.
"It's nice to get a split from one of the top-30 teams in the nation. We look to carry this momentum over to this weekend."
JU heads to Clearwater for the Speedline Invitational this weekend. The Dolphins open up pool play on Thursday against Illinois-Chicago at 6 p.m.