FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009
Softball falls twice at USC Upstate, 4-1 & 8-4
The JU softball team’s worst enemy on Friday was its defense as the Dolphins committed a total of seven errors en route to getting swept by USC Upstate, 4-1 & 8-4, in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Cyrill Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Dolphins (21-29, 5-13 A-Sun) had five errors in the first game that resulted in all four of the Spartans’ (26-13, 9-7) runs for the win.

In game two, JU was within a run on two separate occasions, but two errors in the third inning gave the Spartans two more runs and they never looked back to get the victory.

“This wasn’t the way we wanted to play today,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We have to execute in both facets of the game (offensive & defensive) if we want to win in this conference. Right now, we need to have a short memory because we have to be ready for another tough set of games tomorrow.”

Upstate’s Morgan Childers (20-8) allowed one run on seven hits and struck out 11 in seven innings to get the game one victory.

Junior Ashley Iveson (8-10) was tagged with the loss for JU, surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits and six strikeouts in six innings.

Amber Hamilton (4-4) earned the win for Upstate in game two, despite allowing four runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings. Childers pitched 2.1 perfect relief innings to get her fourth save of the season.

Freshman Sarah Sigrest (11-15) took the loss for the Dolphins after allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits in three innings. Sophomore Jackie Samuels and Iveson combined to allow three runs over the final three innings.

Offensively, senior Alexis Novak led the Dolphins by going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a double in the doubleheader. Junior Ashley Mora had three RBI in game two to help pace JU.

In game one, the Spartans took a 1-0 advantage in the first inning with the help of a two-out error by JU sophomore Katie Kelly. Heidi Gibbs drew a one-one walk off Iveson. After stealing second in the next at-bat, Gibbs moved to third on a groundout by Crislyn Chewning. Iveson induced Amber Patterson to hit a ground ball to shortstop, but Kelly overthrew junior Amber Moseley at first which allowed Gibbs to score.

The Dolphins tied the game in the third inning with an RBI single from Mora. Freshman Melissa Morales led off with a single to center, while sophomore Kat Engler followed with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Kelly to move the runners up, Mora hit a Childers’ pitch back up the middle to plate Morales.

Iveson kept JU in the game after working out of jams with Spartans in scoring position from the third to the fifth innings.

In the sixth inning, Upstate broke the tie by scoring three runs after another JU error. Lauren Quevedo opened the inning with a walk. Quevedo was lifted for pinch runner Courtney Tate, who advanced second on a sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat. Iveson got Torbet to ground to Kelly and she threw back to second trying to get Tate, but Morales dropped the ball allowing her to reach third and Torbet to make it to second. Lewis followed with a single through the left side to score Tate and give the Spartans a 2-1 lead. After a strikeout to Mitchell, Brasil doubled to left field to plate two more runs and cap the inning.

Morales and Engler opened the seventh inning with consecutive singles, but Childers got Kelly to ground into a double play and struck out Mora to end the game.

In game two, the Spartans took a quick 3-0 lead after two innings of play from RBI doubles by Gibbs and Basil.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to a run at 3-2 with a two-run double by Mora in the third inning. Engler legged out a one-out infield single to the shortstop. Kelly pushed her to third in the next at-bat with a single to right field. Mora followed by plating both of them with a double down the left field line.

The Dolphins’ defensive woes continued as they committed two errors on the same play in bottom of the third inning that resulted in two more runs for the Spartans to take 5-2 lead.

With two outs, Torbet was hit by a pitch. Lewis followed with a bunt to third that freshman Amanda Schmidt overthrew at first. Torbet scored on the play when Novak’s throw back home went wide, which also allowed Lewis to reach third. Keri Sarratt followed with base hit up the middle to score Lewis to extend the Spartans advantage back to three runs.

JU narrowed the lead to a run with a sacrifice fly from Mora and an RBI double by Novak in the fifth, but Upstate pushed its advantage back to 7-4 by scoring on suicide squeeze bunt and a passed ball in the bottom of the inning.

Chewning added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, while Chiders pitched a scoreless seventh inning to secure the sweep.

The Dolphins look to bounce back tomorrow when they wrap the A-Sun regular schedule with a doubleheader at East Tennessee State. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.