FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007
Softball rallies to force doubleheader split with Campbell in A-Sun Opener
March 16, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior Jillian Mirante had a walk-off game-winning RBI single in the seventh inning to help the JU softball team complete a school-record eight-run comeback to down Campbell, 11-10, in game two of its Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader on Friday night at the JU Softball Complex.
The Dolphins (7-24, 1-1 A-Sun) scored 11-unanswered runs in the five innings to earn the win, while the Camels (17-17-1, 1-1 A-Sun) took game one, 5-0.
"Wow, that was an amazing second game," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "I was disappointed in our team after game one because we prepared all year for our conference schedule and they were not ready to play at all.
In game two, we showed a lot of heart and concentration, which helped us chip away at their lead and finally overtake it in the last inning. It was one of the most complete games that I have ever been at in my softball career."
Offensively, the Dolphins tallied a season-high 11 runs and 14 hits in the second game. Mirante paced the JU hitters in game two with three hits, while Jacksonville native Pat Melo had a fourth-inning grand slam for the Dolphins. Ashley Mora, Alexis Novak, Renee LaCroix and Kelly McKeon each drove in runs in the night camp. Novak finished with two hits in game one.
Junior Shannon Jensen (2-9) picked up the win in game two after tossing 5.2 relief innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits.
Trailing 8-0 in game two, Valerie Alter opened the third inning with a single to second base. Alter scored in the next at-bat after Melo reached third on a throwing error by Campbell starter Kelly Weaver when she laid down a sacrifice bunt.
After a walk to Mirante, Melo scored on double steal to cut JU's deficit to 8-3. Mirante would later score on a ground out by Novak to wrap up the inning.
LaCroix beat out an infield single to shortstop with one out in the fourth inning. McKeon reached on a fielder's choice after LaCroix and Alter loaded the bases with an infield single. Melo cleared the bases in the next at-bat by crushing the ballover the left center field fence to make it an 8-7 ballgame.
In top of the fifth inning, Jessica Huffman tallied a two-out triple for the Camels and Megan Paul followed with a single up the middle to extend their lead to 9-7.
The Dolphins answered in the bottom of the inning when LaCroix plated Sara Gordon on a one-out single to cut the Camels' lead to a run.
Mirante and Mora recorded back-to-back doubles to tie the game for the Dolphins at nine apiece. Mirante picked up a one-out double to left center, while Mora plated Mirante with her team-leading eighth double of the season.
The Camels used a two-out passed ball in the top of the seventh inning to score Hilary Wheatley for a 10-9 advantage.
The Dolphins would not go quietly into the night as Jensen lead off with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
After sacrifice bunt by LaCroix, McKeon hit a double off the left field fence to plate Jensen and tie the game for the second time. McKeon moved to third on the next at from Alter's sacrifice bunt, while Melo drew a two-out walk. Mirante followed the walk by driving a 2-2 offering from Weaver up the middle to give the Dolphins' their game-winning run.
Weaver (3-6) tossed 6.2 innings and allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 14 hits in the loss.
JU starter Ashley Iveson earned a no-decision after six runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks in 1.1 innings.
The Camels lead initially in the night cap after scoring three runs on two hits and two JU errors in the first inning. Shayla Cullum had a three-run home run to cap off a four-run second inning, while Jessica Huffman had a RBI double to give the Camels' their 8-0 lead before the Dolphins' comeback.
In game one, the Camels gained a 2-0 lead from two consecutive run-scoring singles by Wheatley and Brittany Stanley.
Campbell added run in the second inning from RBI single by Karlie Love off JU starter and eventual losing pitcher Katie Buell to extend their lead to 3-0.
The Camels scored a runs off a JU error in the fifth and sixth innings to secure their 5-0 win.
The Dolphins had bases loaded with two outs in the fourth inning, but Lauren Caviness quashed the rally and retired nine of the final 11 batters to secure the shutout.
Caviness (8-8) allowed four hits and fanned eight batters to earn the complete-game win.
Buell (2-6) surrendered three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings in the loss. Jensen struck out six batters and allowed two unearned runs in 4.2 innings of relief.
The Dolphins play again on March 20, as they host Elon for a non-conference doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.