Softball wraps up productive 2006 fall season

Oct. 3, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University softball team finished a productive fall schedule by picking up four wins through seven games in preparation for the 2007 season under first-year head coach Amanda Lehotak.

The Dolphins earned a doubleheader sweep over Seminole Community College and took two victories at the North Florida Fall Tournament on Sept. 23. The only blemishes were to Tallahassee Community College and Florida Community College of Jacksonville.

"I'm excited about the fall we just had," said Lehotak, who was promoted to head coach on June 30. "We made great progress as a team this fall and we are further along as a group than I thought we would be at this point."

Offensively, the Dolphins were led by newcomers Patricia Melo and Sara Gordon. Melo tallied a .667 batting average in five games with one double and four RBI, while Gordan recorded a .421 average with eight hits. Sophomore Beth Glasscock also ranked second on the team in RBI with three.

Senior Katie Buell allowed one run in 11.0 innings in the circle to lead the pitching staff. Buell surrendered five hits in three appearances and recorded eight strikeouts to tally a 1-0 record with one save. Freshman Ashley Iveson fanned a team-high 12 batters, while Brittany Abbott earned two saves in four appearances and junior Shannon Jensen ranked third on the squad with seven strikeouts.

"They have all the right tools to be successful for the 2007 season," Lehotak said. "The team's desire, chemistry, and work ethic will make them great competitors this upcoming spring season."

The Dolphins open the 2007 season on Friday, Feb. 9 against Minnesota at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.

Located below is a short game-by-game recap of the Dolphins fall season.

Dolphins vs. Seminole Community College capsule

In fall action, the Dolphins softball team used a four-run sixth inning in game one and timely hitting in game two to sweep a doubleheader against Seminole Community College, 4-2 & 6-5, at the JU Softball Complex on Sept. 15.

In game one, Seminole Community College broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning by scoring twice off a sacrifice fly and single to gain the early lead.

Glasscock opened the sixth inning with a single up the middle. Freshman Ashley Mora followed on a double to left center to plate Glasscock. After a walk to Kelly McKeon and a sacrifice bunt by Amber Moseley to move the runners, senior Renee LaCroix hit a two-run single to right field for the 3-2 advantage. LaCroix would later score in the inning on an error to cap off the Dolphins offense.

Iveson would pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to help secure the Dolphins' victory.

Iveson earned the win in the circle after striking out three batters on two hits in three innings of relief, while Jensen pitched four scoreless innings to earn a no-decision.

Trailing 2-0 in game two, sophomore Alexis Novak put the Dolphins on the board in the second inning by scoring Melo on a one-out double to centerfield. Later in the inning, senior Valerie Alter tied the game for JU with a two-out infield single to plate Novak.

The Dolphins gained a 3-2 advantage in the top of the third inning off a run-scoring double by Melo.

In the fourth inning, Glasscock hit a two-out, three-run home run to give the Dolphins a 6-2 lead.

The Raiders would plate runners in the fourth and sixth innings, but Buell would retire 9-of-l1 batters to quash the late rally and earn a save.

Abbot earned the win in the circle after allowing four runs, three earned, in four innings of work.

Dolphins at UNF Fall Tournament capsule

In their second action of the fall, the Dolphin softball team took two of three games at the UNF Fall Tournament on Sept. 23.

JU opened the tournament with a 4-1 win over Santa Fe Community College. The Dolphins added four runs on eight hits in the first four innings to secure the win.

Gordon, Melo and McKeon each tallied two hits to lead the Dolphins hitters, while Iveson tossed four shutout innings on four strikeouts to earn her second win of the season in the circle.

In the second game, Tallahassee Community College plated four runs in the first inning and six runs in the third inning to hand the Dolphins an 11-2 loss.

Jensen took the loss in the circle after allowing 11 runs (nine earned) on 11 hits and four strikeouts.

The Dolphins scored a run in the first and third innings by groundouts from Melo and Mora.

JU bounced back in the third game to earn a 1-0 victory over Santa Fe Community College.

Melo drove home Gordon on a single to center field in the first inning to give the Dolphins all the offense they needed as Buell hurled four scoreless innings, while fanning three batters, to secure the win. Abbott pitched a perfect final inning to earn her second save of the day.

Dolphins vs. FCCJ capsule

In their final action of the fall, the Dolphins fell twice to Florida Community College of Jacksonville at the JU Softball Complex on Sept. 30.

In the eighth inning of game one, The Stars used a two-out, two-run single off Abbott to earn a 2-0 extra-inning victory.

Gordon led the Dolphins offense by going 3-for-4 and junior Jillian Mirante added two hits.

Buell earned a no-decision after allowing one hit in four shutout innings, while Abott tossed four innings of relief

In game two, the Stars scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to a 10-2 victory.

They used a six-run fourth inning off eventual losing pitcher Iveson to help secure the win.

Iveson took the loss after allowing 10 runs, nine earned, on 11 hits and four strikeouts in four innings.

The Dolphins plated a run in the fourth inning from a two-out RBI single by Moseley.

Alter led off the seventh inning with a double to right centerfield. After Alter moved to third on a wild pitch, she scored the Dolphins second run when Gordon was tagged out in a rundown trying to swipe second base.

Alter and Mirante each tallied two hits, while Jensen tossed two scoreless innings in relief