WEDNESDAY, MARCH 07, 2007
Softball heads to Clearwater for USF/adidas Spring Break Invitatitonal on Thursday

March 7, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

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A brief preview

The JU softball team will travel down to Clearwater, Fla., for their final regular-season tournament as they compete in the USF/adidas Spring Break Invitational beginning on Thursday.

JU opens with Oklahoma State at 11 a.m., and wrap up with Western Michigan at 1 p.m. On Friday, JU faces North Carolina at 1 p.m. and finish against Wagner at 6 p.m. The Dolphins play host USF on Saturday at 1 p.m. before heading into bracket play.

Last Time Out

Freshman Ashley Mora and senior Renee LaCroix each recorded two RBIs to guide the Dolphins to a 10-2 victory in game one against Virginia on Sunday afternoon in the final day of the Crispers/JU Invitational on March 4 at the JU Softball Complex.

In the second game, the Cavaliers scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to down the Dolphins, 8-4.

Offensively, Mora finished the two games going 4-for-9 with two doubles and three RBIs. LaCroix tallied a run-scoring single and a ground out in the first game, while Pat Melo added a RBI triple in the win. Mora and senior Valerie Alter each had two hits for JU in the second game.

Senior Katie Buell (2-5) picked up the win in the first game after tossing five innings and allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout.

This time last year

This is the Dolphins fifth consecutive trip to the USF Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.

Last season, JU won it's final three games over Fordham (4-2), Buffalo (7-3) and Central Michigan (10-3) to take the Bronze Flight of the invitational.

Beth Glasscock paced the Dolphins at the plate by batting .318 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. She hit a walk-off two-run home run to help the Dolphins down Fordham, 4-2, in extra innings. Glasscock launched a three-run homer against Buffalo to propel the Dolphins into the Bronze Flight final. She wrapped up the tournament by driving in two runs on a double against Central Michigan to lead the Dolphins to a 10-3 victory to win the Bronze Flight. For her efforts, she became the first JU position player to earn Atlantic Sun Conference "Player of the Week" honors.

During the same week, Katie Dobson became the fourth Dolphin in prorgam history to earn A-Sun "Pitcher of the Week" honors after logging 31.1 innings in six appearances and picking up four wins at the Invitational. She hurled four complete games, including an eight-inning effort for a victory against Fordham. Dobson struck out four batters on three occasions (Tennessee Tech, Northern Illinois and Buffalo).

First-Innning Woes

The first inning has been one of the Dolphins' biggest achilles heel in the early part of the 2007 season.

JU is 1-15 when the opponent's score first with their lone win coming against Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 25 at the FAU Pepsi Classic. The highest first inning total that the Dolphins have allowed was five runs on two ocassions with the last coming against Norte Dame on March 2.

This Alter is also reliable

Senior Valerie Alter has been one of the Dolphins' most consistent hitters so far this seasaon.

After starting the season 0-13, this slap hitter put together a team-high eight-game streak from Feb. 17 to Feb. 27. Alter hit .600 (9-15) during the streak and boasted a .600 slugging perctange as well as a .625 on-base pecentage.

Despite going hitless in game two at Georgia Southern, Alter has recorded a hit in 10 of the last 13 games. She ranks second on the team in batting average (.310) and on-base percentage (.370).

Alter is one of JU's most reliable outfielders as she ranks sixth on the team with 32 putouts and is tied for second on the squad with three double plays turned.

She also tied a single-game school record with seven putouts in left field against Memphis at the Sunshine State Tournament on Feb. 16.