Softball drops doubleheader slugfest to East Tennessee State, 13-9 & 8-6

April 13, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - East Tennessee State used two late rallies to outlast the JU softball team in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader, 13-9 & 8-6, on Friday night at the JU Softball Complex.

The Buccaneers (22-20, 9-3 A-Sun) recorded rallies in the final two innings to earn wins in a doubleheader that featured a combined 36 runs, 50 hits and seven errors, while the Dolphins (14-34, 3-7 A-Sun) dropped their first conference doubleheader since facing Lipscomb on March 31.

"We should have put this team away," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "We left too many chances for them to come back and they made us pay. Our team has to take care of the lead or it will hurt us in the long run."

Offensively, junior Jillian Mirante went 5-for-9 with two runs scored and an RBI to pace the Dolphins' attack. Senior Valerie Alter tallied a two-run triple in game two, while Pat Melo recorded a two-RBI single in the first game. Melo also extended her hitting streak to a team-best nine games after picking a hit in each of the games. Sara Gordon and Ashley Mora each finished with three hits in the doubleheader to round out the Dolphin hitters.

Junior Shannon Jensen (4-14) shouldered the loss for JU in both games. Jensen allowed 11 runs (six earned) on 14 hits and struck out five batters in 5.2 innings of the first game. In game two, she surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings of relief.

Lady Buccaneer Amanda Haverman went 7-for-10 with the RBI to lead the sqaud at the plate, while Marissa Hardy (3-0) earned both wins in the circle during the doubleheader.

Trailing 4-3 in game one, the Dolphins plated four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-4 lead.

Kelly McKeon reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning for JU. After a sacrifice bunt, McKeon moved to third on a single to third by Alter. Melo followed with a single to clear the bases, giving the Dolphins a 5-4 advantage. Melo scored two batters later on a base-loaded walk to Alexis Novak, while Mirante scored on a dropped fly ball during Gordon's at bat to cap off the inning.

The lead would be short lived as East Tennessee State outscored JU, 9-2, in the final three innings to take the 13-9 victory.

In the sixth inning, the Lady Buccaneers scored runs in four consecutive at-bats to earn a 9-7 lead. Brianna Knight and Cat Zyskowski each tallied RBI singles, while Hardy had a two-run double to help cause in the circle.

Knight put the nail in the coffin for East Tennessee State with a two-RBI triple in the seventh inning to secure the win. She finished with three hits and two RBI in her final three at-bats.

Renee LaCroix and Amber Moseley recorded run-scoring singles in the sixth inning, but Hardy held the Dolphins scoreless in the seventh to earn the win.

Hardy scattered six hits and allowed two runs with two strikeouts in 3.2 innings of relief. Mary Catherine Vercoe gave in seven runs (six earned) on five hits in 3.1 innings to earn a no-decision.

JU reliever Katie Buell tossed 1.1 innings of relief and surrendered two runs on three hits.

In game two, the Lady Buccaneers gained an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single by Jessie Hackworth.

Gordon led off JU's second inning with a single up the middle. After two consecutive strikeouts, Moseley reached on a fielding error by the second baseman, which allowed Gordon to move to third base. Alter followed with her second triple of the season to the gap in left center field to the bases to give JU a 2-1 advantage.

Melo plated Alter in the next at-bat with a single to finish a three-run inning for the Dolphins.

Stephanie Gaynord evened the game for East Tennessee State at three all in the fourth inning when she hit a two-run home run to left field off JU starter Ashley Iveson.

The Dolphins bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 6-3 lead. Melo had a run-scoring sacrifice fly, while Mirante and Mora had back-to-back RBI singles for JU.

Much like the first game, the Lady Buccaneers haunted the Dolphins again in the late innings when they scored four runs in the sixth inning to earn a 7-6 advantage.

Gaynord opened the sixth inning with a double to right center and scored in the next at-bat from a single by Katy Jett. After a JU error, Jett scored on a fielder's choice, while Haverman had an RBI single to finish the inning.

Haverman also recorded an run-scoring single in the seventh inning to wrap up the East Tennessee State offense.

Hardy pitched relief for the second consecutive game and struck seven of the 11 JU batters she faced to earn her second win of the night. She allowed two walks in three innings of relief.

Iveson took a no-decision after allowing three runs on five hits and two strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Buell gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits in 1.1 relief innings.

The Dolphins finish the week on Saturday as they host Gardner-Webb on Saturday in an A-Sun doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.