FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009
Softball splits a pair of games to open USF Under Armour Showcase
Freshman catcher Amanda Schmidt had a two-run single and freshman righty Sarah Sigrest fanned eight batters to lead the JU softball team past Loyola Marymount, 2-1, on Friday in the first day of the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla.

The Lions (11-14) led initially in the contest, but Schmidt’s single put the Dolphins (12-13) ahead. Sigrest (7-6) sat down 18 of the next 19 batters she faced to give the Dolphins the win. She finished the game allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings.

JU couldn’t parlay that success into the second game as they dropped a 9-4 decision to Central Michigan to round out the day.

The Chippewas (5-9) pounded out 12 hits and scored at least one run from the second through the sixth innings, while the Dolphins stranded 10 runners on base in the loss.

“Overall, this was an up and down day,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We came out attacking in the first game, but just didn’t play that well in the second one. Hopefully, we can smooth things out tomorrow to get two good results.”

Offensively, Schmidt finished going 2-for-4 with two RBI between the games, while junior Shannon Monahan recorded three hits on the day.

Against Loyola Marymount, the Lions recorded consecutive two-out doubles in the first inning off Sigrest to take a 1-0 advantage.

In the third inning, Monahan tallied a one-out single to right center field for JU. Senior Alexis Novak reached on a fielder’s choice on the next at-bat as Monahan was forced out at second base. Junior Ashley Mora followed with a single, while junior Kelly McKeon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Schmidt plated Novak and Mora on a single to left field to give JU a 2-1 lead.

Following the two RBI single by Schmidt, Sigrest took the game on her shoulders by limiting the Lions to only one hit over the next four innings to secure the win for JU.

Lions’ starter Melissa Dykema (5-6) took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings of work.

In the second inning against Central Michigan, Molly Coldren led off with a single through the left side of the infield for the Chippewas. After a sacrifice bunt to move to second, Coldren scored on a single by Kim Cozart off JU starter and eventual losing pitcher Brittany Abbott. Cozart later scored on a wild pitch to put Central Michigan up 2-0.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to a run by scoring on base loaded walk in second inning, but an error in third inning by junior Ashley Iveson paved the way for a two-run single by Coldern and a run-scoring hit Cozart to push the Chippewas lead to 5-1.

Trailing 6-1 in the fourth inning, sophomore Kat Engler reached on a bunt single to third base after a ground out by junior Amber Moseley. Sophomore Katie Kelly drew a walk off Chippewas starter Courtney King, while Monahan legged out a bunt single to third base to load the bases. King walked Novak which plated Engler to make it a 6-2 ballgame. Ali Pettit relived King and allowed a sacrifice fly by Mora to score Kelly. Monahan scored on a wild pitch in the next at-bat to make it a 6-4 deficit for JU, but King got freshman Kayla Shavers to ground out to end the threat.

The Chippewas left nothing to chance by scoring a run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth inning to pull away with the win.

Pettit (3-5) allowed no runs and surrendered just one hit in 3.2 innings of relief to get the win for Central Michigan. King took the no-decision after giving up four runs on four hits and issuing five walks in 3.1 innings of work.

Abbott (1-2) surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits in two innings. Iveson, Sigrest and sophomore Jackie Samuels combined to allow at least one or more runs over the final five innings.

The Dolphins continue the USF Under Armour Showcase on Saturday against Boston and No. 14 UMass in consecutive games starting at 11 a.m. The game against the Minutewomen can be heard on radio and viewed through live stats on umassathletics.com.