FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2009
Softball sweeps Belmont to open Nashville road swing, 10-2 & 9-7
It took more than five hours of game time and two different fields for the JU softball team to sweep Belmont, 10-2 & 9-7, in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader on Friday in Nashville, Tenn.

After a quiet first two innings in game one, the Dolphins (17-21, 2-6 A-Sun) scored a run in each of the final four frames with the help of a game-high 10 hits to take the win.

JU opened the second game with 8-1 lead through four innings, but the Bruins (8-12, 0-2) cut the lead in half by the fifth inning. The fifth also broke into some craziness when the game was suspended due to darkness. The contest was resumed less than an hour later at Lipscomb University with the Bruins picking up two more runs to make it an 8-6 game.

The Dolphins picked up one more run in the sixth, while Iveson helped hold off another comeback attempt to get the win.

“This was a long and productive day,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I was proud of the way our team battled during this long taxing doubleheader. We hit the ball really well, but our pitching wasn’t as sharp as I know they can be. We need to build on today’s wins because we are playing a tough Lipscomb squad on Saturday.”

Freshman Sarah Sigrest (9-10) got the game one win after hurling four scoreless relief innings and fanning three batters, while scattering three hits.

Belmont starter Sammi Parks (2-6) took the loss, surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks in 4.1 innings. Julie Harmon allowed four runs (one earned) in 2.0 innings of relief, while Ashley Byers gave up an unearned run in the seventh inning.

Iveson (6-7) got the game two win after allowing one run on three hits and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief. Sigrest struck out five batters, but the Bruins scored six runs (five earned) in 3.2 relief innings.

Byers (0-1) was tagged with the loss in game two, surrendering four runs (three earned) on two hits during a brief appearance in the first inning. Parks kept the Bruins in the game after only allowing two runs on four hits and had three strikeouts in six innings.

Offensively, junior Ashley Mora finished the doubleheader going 5-for-8 with four runs scored, four RBI and two doubles. Senior Alexis Novak and freshman Brie Carmack each combined for three RBI in two games. Carmack also recorded two doubles in a three-hit performance during the first game for JU.

The Bruins were led at the plate by Dawn Thoni, who finished the doubleheader 3-for-7 with two home runs and three RBI.

In game one, Novak legged out a one-out single to shortstop to start the third inning. After a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Kelly, Carmack doubled up the middle to plate Novak for the lead.

Mora pushed JU’s lead to 3-0 in the fourth with a two out, two-run double. Sophomore Kat Engler led off the inning with a single to right field, while Kelly and junior Shannon Monahan drew consecutive walks from Parks to load the bases. After a ground out by Novak, Mora followed with a double down the left field line to score two runs for JU.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Bruins cut the deficit to a run with two-run homer to left field by Thoni.

Carmack led off the Dolphins’ fifth inning with a double to field. Freshman Melissa Morales followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Carmack to third, while junior Amber Moseley was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Engler plated Carmack on infield single past the shortstop to make it a 4-2 lead for JU. Moseley later scored on a wild pitch to push the Dolphins’ advantage back up to three runs.

The Dolphins plated three runs with two outs in the sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead. Novak scored a bases-loaded walk, while Moseley followed with a run-scoring single to third base. Engler reached on an error by the shortstop which allowed Carmack to score and cap off the inning.

In the seventh inning, Novak homered and Mora scored on a ball hit by Carmack to make it a 10-2 lead for JU. Sigrest pitched a scoreless bottom half of the seventh to secure the win.

In game two, JU plated five runs in the first inning for the early lead. Kelly opened the game with a walk, while Monahan was hit by a pitch from Byers. Novak singled to load the bases and Mora followed with a two-run double to left field.

Byers was lifted for Harmon, who walked Carmack to load the bases again. Novak scored a passed ball during the next at-bat, while freshman Amanda Schmidt plated Mora on a ground out to first. Morales wrapped the inning by scoring Carmack with an infield single to shortstop.

The Bruins added a run in the bottom of the first inning from a groundout by Hannah Irwin.

The Dolphins pushed across three runs in the second inning from RBI hits by Novak and Morales to take an 8-1 lead. Kelly and Monahan hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Novak doubled to left field to plate Kelly, while Monahan also scored on errant throw to home by the shortstop. Morales brought home Novak on a ground out to second base to further the Dolphins’ advantage.

In the third inning, Belmont plated three runs on RBI hits from Parks and Irwin to cut the deficit in half at 8-4. Erin Gier had a lead off double, while Thoni walked and Cassie Bollin hit an infield single to load the bases for the Bruins. Gier scored on a wild pitch in the next at-bat and Parks followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to make it an 8-3 ballgame. Irwin recorded a double to left center field in the next at-bat to score Bollin.

Parks had a one-out double for the Bruins in the fifth inning. After a 51-minute delay to change fields, Irwin singled to center. Sigrest was lifted for Iveson, who walked Stayci Cook to load the bases. Brooke Babington plated Parks on a ground out, while Irwin scored on the next at-bat by a fielding error by Kelly to make it an 8-6 contest.

In the sixth, Monahan singled home Engler to give JU a 9-6 advantage, but Thoni homered to lead off the bottom of the inning for Belmont.

Iveson settled down after the home run and held off the Belmont rally to get the win for JU.

The Dolphins wrap their Nashville trip tomorrow with a conference doubleheader against Lipscomb starting at 3 p.m. EST.