FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2005
Softball Eliminated from Atlantic Sun Championship by UCF, 9-5
May 13, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Junior shortstop Stephanie Farabee (Jacksonville/Arlington Country Day) hit her second home run of the season while junior Janine Palumbo (Clearwater, Fla.) went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, but Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Stephanie Best hit two home runs to lead UCF to a 9-5 win over the JU softball team Friday evening in the A-Sun Softball Championship at FAU Field. The loss eliminates the Dolphins from the tournament and ends their season with a 35-32 record.
Best, the three-time A-Sun Player of the Year, led off the fifth by pulling the 1-0 offering from freshman pitcher Shannon Jensen (Callahan, Fla.) just over the left field wall to put UCF up, 5-4. The Golden Knights then added four insurance runs in the seventh, with the first two coming on Amber Lamb's RBI triple. Lamb then scored on a Jensen wild pitch before Nikki Green scored on Kacie Feaster's double, putting UCF on top, 9-4.
JU kept fighting, as Farabee took the 2-1 pitch from Kelly McIntyre over the wall in left to make the score 9-5. McIntyre then got the next two batters before junior centerfielder Katie Pestrak (Gainesville, Fla.) reached on an error by UCF third baseman Cici Alvarez. Palumbo then put a scare into the Golden Knights with a drive toward the center field wall, but Jania Shinhoster made the nice catch just shy of the wall to clinch the 9-5 victory for UCF.
The Dolphins initially tied up the game with three runs in the fourth. Senior left fielder Mayte Diaz (Silver Springs, Fla.) started the scoring by singling home Palumbo, who led off the frame with a double. Junior third baseman Lindsey Freitag (Lake Stevens, Wash.) followed with a sacrifice fly to plate freshman right fielder Jillian Mirante (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.). Then a wild pitch by McIntyre allowed Diaz to scamper home, tying up the game at four.
The Golden Knights (43-27-1) wasted no time in taking the lead, as leadoff hitter Shinhoster drove the first pitch from Dolphin junior starter Katie Dobson (Clearwater, Fla.) out to straightaway center field for UCF's first run. After getting two outs, Best hammered the first pitch over the palm trees in left to give UCF the 2-0 lead.
JU started their scoring in the bottom half of the first when, with two outs, Palumbo singled home First-Team Atlantic Sun All-Conference senior catcher Lauren Redfern (Jacksonville/Sandalwood) to cut the lead to 2-1.
UCF padded their early lead in the second on a two-RBI single by Kacie Feaster, making the score 4-1.
"I'm so proud of our kids and this team," said JU head coach Jeff Franquet. "First in making the tournament and second to be in every ball game this weekend. We can walk out of here with our heads held high.
"It's not about wins and losses but how we represent Jacksonville University. Obviously, we're disappointed that we lost, but I'm extremely proud of our effort. JU should be proud of this team, because I know I am."
McIntyre (12-5) got the win in relief, tossing 4.0 innings while giving up two hits and one earned run. Jensen (13-11) allowed seven runs, six earned, on seven hits and six walks while striking out five over 6.0 innings in relief to get the loss.