FRIDAY, MARCH 09, 2007
Softball loses to North Carolina in extra innings, 1-0

March 9, 2007

Box Score

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Freshman Ashley Iveson hurled seven hitless innings for the JU softball team, but a base-loaded RBI infield single in the eighth inning gave North Carolina a 1-0 victory on Friday night at the EC Moore Softball Complex in the USF/adidas Spring Break Invitational.

Whitney Allen knocked a single just pass an outstretched glove of Iveson to give the Tar heels (19-8) their fourth win of the tournament. The Dolphins (5-20) also dropped their first game of the day to Wagner (2-2), 7-4.

Despite the earning the loss against Carolina, Iveson (2-5) fanned three batters in 7.2 innings of work. She has only allowed two hits and two unearned runs in 15.2 innings at the Invitational.

Kelly McKeon, Pat Melo and Jillian Mirante each had two hits on the day to lead the Dolphins offensively.

"We didn't come mentally ready to play against Wagner," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "We played a phenomenal job against North Carolina. The game could have gone either way for each team."

In the eighth inning against the Tar heels, Shannon Jensen was placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule. She moved to third on a throwing error during McKeon's sacrifice bunt. After two consecutive strikeouts, Pat Melo would draw a walk to load the bases.

Carolina starter and eventual winning pitcher Amber Johnson struck out Mirante to end the Dolphins' rally.

Cassie Palmer moved Ashley Oxendine to third on a sacrifice bunt to lead off the Tar Heel eighth inning. The Dolphins would elect to intentionally walk the next two batters to load the bases.

Ivseon would get Carolina's RBI leader, Jennifer Jacobs to fly out to Renee LaCroix for the second out, but Palmer dashed the Dolphins' hopes as she laced a choppy infield single back up the middle to gave the Tar Heels the game-winning run.

Johnson (8-2) pitched eight shutout innings and scattered four hits, while striking out nine batters to get the win for North Carolina.

In the first game, the Seahawks jumped to a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Kate Eshelman added a two-run single to help get the initial advantage, while Katie Stevens recorded an RBI triple to cap off the inning.

The Dolphins answered with four runs to even the game in the third inning.

Melo brought home Alter on a one-out double to left center to give the Dolphins their first run. Mirante followed with ansingle to left field to move Melo to third. Mora drove home both Melo and Mirante with her first collegiate triple to right center to make it a 4-3 ballgame. After a strikeout to Jensen, Alexis Novak plated Mora on a single to center field to wrap up the third inning.

An error by JU to lead off the bottom of the third inning opened the door for Wagner to take a 5-4 lead on a two-out double by Ami Iwicki.

The Seahawks tallied back-to-back RBI hits in the sixth inning off JU reliever Katie Buell to take a 7-4 lead.

Morgan Miller retried the final six JU batters to secure the win for Wagner and pick up her first save of the season.

Eshelman (1-1) earned the win despite allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. She also helped her cause at the plate by finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

JU freshman Brittany Abbott (0-2) was tagged with the loss by surrendering five runs (two earned) on six hits and two strikeouts in five innings.

The Dolphins play USF at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Invitational before heading into bracket play.