Softball splits doubleheader with Gardner-Webb to finish weekend

April 14, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU softball team used an eight-run fourth inning rally to knock off Gardner-Webb, 10-2 (5), in game two of an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the JU Softball Complex.

The Bulldogs (29-21-1, 8-3-1 A-Sun) scored six runs in the middle innings of the first game to earn a 6-1 win, while the Dolphins (15-23, 4-8 A-Sun) broke a four-game skid this week in the second game.

"That was a great way to end the week," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "We have been hitting well all week and it was nice to see us finally break through to get a win. Our squad looks to take this momentum into a tough rough slate next week."

For the second consecutive day, junior Jillian Mirante led the Dolphins' offense after going 4-for-5 with two RBI in the doubleheader. Mirante had five hits last night against East Tennessee State and finished the week going 10-for-16 (.625) with four RBI in five games. She also is currently riding a career-best six-game hitting streak.

Junior Pat Melo extended her hitting streak to 10 games with a solo home run in game one, but was hitless in the second game. Freshman Kelly McKeon recorded three hits in two games, while Amber Moseley went 2-for-2 with two RBI in game two to round out the offense.

Senior Katie Buell (6-7) earned the win in game two, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings of work.

In game two, the Dolphins gained a1-0 lead in the first inning on a run-scoring single by McKeon to plate Melo.

Moseley reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch to start the second inning. Senior Valerie Alter followed with a bunt single to move Moseley to second. After a sacrifice bunt by Melo to move the runners, Mirante drove home Moseley on a line drive that deflected off the shortstop's glove to give JU a 2-0 advantage, while Alter was thrown out on the same play at home trying to extend the advantage further.

The Bulldogs plated a run in the fifth inning to make it 2-1, when Abbie Looper scored on a throwing error by Mirante during Meldoy Harrell's two-out double.

It would be the closet the Bulldogs would come as the Dolphins scored eight runs off six hits in the fourth inning to take a 10-1 lead.

Renee LaCroix led off the fourth inning with a double to left field and moved to third base on the next at-bat from a sacrifice bunt by Sara Gordon. Moseley reached with a bunt single in the next at-bat, while Melo followed with a walk to load the bases. Mirante drew another walk from Gardner-Webb starter and eventual losing pitcher Allison Coffey to plate LaCroix giving JU a 3-1 lead. Melo and Alter scored on the next at-bat when Harrell mishandled a ground ball at second base.

LaCroix and Gordon later had back-to-back RBI singles in the second at-bat of the inning, while Moseley drove in two runs with a single to left center field to cap off the inning.

In the fifth inning, Harrell recorded a two-out RBI double to plate Kelly Linsely, but Buell retired Emily Sherrill to secure the win.

Coffey (6-7) allowed eight runs (five earned) on eight hits in 3.1 innings and Angie Walls gave up two unearned runs on three hits in 0.2 innings of relief for the Bulldogs.

In the first game, Gardner-Webb tallied two-run three-hit efforts in the third, fourth and fifth innings to earn a 6-1 win over JU.

Looper drove home Jessie Williams on a single to center field after leading off the third inning with a double to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage. Looper later scored in the inning on an error by Gordon to make it 2-0.

JU starter and eventual losing pitcher Ashley Iveson surrendered two consecutive hits to start the fourth inning. After a walk to load the bases, Iveson was lifted for Shannon Jensen who struck the first batter she faced, but allowed a two-run single by Williams in the next at-bat to give Gardner-Webb a 4-0 lead.

Melo hit her second home run of the season to start the bottom of the fourth inning, but Bulldogs' shortstop Lindsey Whitfield recorded a two-run single in the fifth inning to make a 6-1 ballgame.

Bulldog starter Taryn Beck (16-8) held JU scoreless in the final three innings to earn the win in the circle. She allowed only one run on six hits and fanned five batters in seven innings.

Iveson (5-10) surrendered four runs (three earned) in three innings on five hits in the loss. Jensen allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four batters in four relief innings.

The Dolphins hit the road on April 17 for their final non-conference doubleheader of the season when they travel to face Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. at 4 p.m.