Softball loses late to No. 18 North Carolina at FIU Combat Classic, 4-1
For the second consecutive day, the Dolphins were done in by the sixth inning as No. 18 North Carolina plated four runs in the frame to down the JU softball team, 4-1, on Saturday night the FIU Combat Classic in Miami, Fla.

The Dolphins (1-3), who lost to Louisville earlier in the day, led most of the game until the Tar Heels (2-2) recorded four runs out of nowhere on three hits and one JU error. JU also surrendered four runs in the sixth inning in the season-opening lost to Auburn yesterday.

Despite trailing for most of the game, Tar Heel starter Lisa Morris (1-2) kept her team in it by fanning 13 batters and allowing one run on five hits in seven innings to get the win in the circle.

“I’m disappointed in tonight’ game,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We let up mentally for one inning and they scored four runs. We have to learn to play though all seven innings.”

Junior Ashley Iveson (0-2) took the loss for the Dolphins, surrendering three runs on three hits in 5.1 innings. Iveson had allowed one hit through the first five innings and retired 13 consecutive batters at one point.

Offensively, sophomore Katie Kelly went 2-for-3 with a double to pace the Dolphins.

In the JU’s first inning, sophomore Kat Engler drove a one-out single up the middle. Kelly doubled in the next at bat, moving Engler to third. Freshman Amanda Schmidt plated Engler on a sacrifice fly to left to give the Dolphins an early lead.

Iveson opened the bottom of the first with two quick outs before giving give a double to Danielle Spaulding and hitting Britteny McKinney. Iveson induced a groundout to Anna Roberts to end the threat and then sat down the Tar Heels in order over the four innings to keep JU in the lead.

Christie Knauer led off the North Carolina sixth inning with a bunt single to third and stole second before Breanna Brown’s infield single. On Brown’s single, Knauer broke to third and junior Shannon Monahan missed freshman Brie Carmack’s throw which allowed her to score and tie the game. After a fly out by Emily Troup, Iveson walked the next two batters to load the bases before getting replaced by junior Brittany Abbott. Abbott got Roberts to ground into a fielder’s choice at second base, but Brown scored to give the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead. Brittany Robinson capped off the inning with a two-run single up the middle for the 4-1 UNC advantage.

The Dolphins drew consecutive one-out walks in the top of the seventh inning, but Norris settled down to strike out the next two batters to end the game.

JU will look to bounce back on Sunday against the host Golden Panthers in the final day of the FIU Combat Classic. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.