Late home run lifts Softball past North Florida in game two, 4-3

April 6, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Freshman Ashley Mora hit her first collegiate home run to help the JU softball team defeat North Florida, 4-3, in game two of an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader on Friday night at the JU Softball Complex.

Mora's solo home run in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie to give the Dolphins (14-31, 3-5 A-Sun) the win in another installment of the year-long SunTrust River City Rumble. The Ospreys (26-17, 4-4 A-Sun) earned a 6-0 win in game one behind a one-hit complete-game shutout by Devin Findley and three Dolphin errors that produced three runs.

"I am so proud of the way our team played in game two," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "It was a total team effort by our players because everyone rose to the occasion to help us earn that win. I also couldn't be happier in where we are sitting in the conference standings."

Senior Katie Buell (5-7) allowed one hit in three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in game two. She also tossed two scoreless relief innings in the first game and had only allowed one unearned run in 12 innings of work this week.

Offensively, junior Jillian Mirante added a two-run single in game two, while Pat Melo finished the day with a hit in each game.

In game two, North Florida's Christina Evans reached first with two outs in the third inning on a throwing error by Melo. Gwen Williams, the reigning A-Sun "Player of the Week", followed with a towering home run over the left field fence off JU starter Ashley Iveson to give the Ospreys a 2-0 advantage.

The Dolphins answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead.

Amber Moseley reached on a one-out single to start the inning. Valerie Alter would get on in the next at-bat with a bunt single to third, while Melo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Mirante followed with a single to score Moseley and Alter to tie the game. After a fly out, Melo scored on a wild pitch in Alexis Novak's at-bat to give JU the a one-run lead.

North Florida tied the game in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Heater Hyde to plate Evans.

With one out in the sixth inning, Mora broke the tie with a home run to left field off Osprey reliever and eventual losing pitcher Tori Ahern to give JU a 3-2 lead.

Buell retired the Ospreys in order in the seventh inning to secure the JU victory.

Ahren (5-5) allowed just the home run and fanned three batters in 3.2 innings of relief to take the loss, while Findley surrendered three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings to earn a no-decision.

Iveson gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out five batters in four innings for JU to earn a no-decision.

In the first game, North Florida benefited from a JU error in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Kelli Rutenbar lead off the game with a single to left center field and moved to third in the next at bat on an errant throw by Sara Gordon during Evan's sacrifice bunt. After the error, Rutenbar scored on a sacrifice fly by Williams to help take the early lead.

The Ospreys extended their lead to 3-0 in the third inning on a two-out run-scoring single by Elizabeth Howell.

In the fifth inning, Williams scored on a throwing error by Renee LaCroix, while Howell scored for the second time in less than two innings on sacrifice fly by Findley to give North Florida a 4-0 advantage.

Amy Higgs reached on a JU fielding error to open the inning and Rutenbar followed with a two-run home run to help secure the Osprey's win.

Findley (13-2) retired 21 of the 24 batters she faced to earn the win in the circle for North Florida. She allowed one hit to Melo in the contest and struck out seven batters.

JU's Shannon Jensen (4-12) took the loss after allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings.

The Dolphins are back in action on Tuesday April 10, when they host in-state UCF for a single game at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.