FRIDAY, MARCH 05, 2010
Softball drops two games to open USF Under Armour Invitational
Three was not a good number on Friday for the JU softball team as the Dolphins dropped 8-3 decisions to Memphis and Saint Joseph’s on the first day of the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.

The Tigers (7-5) used a three-run sixth inning to pull past the Dolphins (10-6) in the first game, while the Hawks (4-2) scored three runs in the third and fourth innings to win the night cap.

“We came out really flat today,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We started out well against Memphis, but it went downhill after that. We are still learning to work through our mistakes and I know we can have a better day on Saturday.”

Sophomore Sarah Sigrest (3-1) took the loss in the first game for JU after allowing five runs on nine hits and four strikeouts in 4.2 relief innings. Freshman Olivia Kline surrendered three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings for a no-decision.

In the night cap, senior Ashley Iveson (3-3) allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, four walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Senior Brittany Abbott fanned three batters and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in two relief innings.

Offensively, the Dolphins got two RBI from junior Katie Kelly on the day, while junior Katarina Engler and freshman Sarah Simon each finished with three hits in the second game.

Against Memphis, Carly Hummel struck out sophomore Kayla Ouellet to start the first inning, but hit Engler with a pitch during the next at bat. Engler moved to second on an illegal pitch before getting brought home on a double to center by Kelly. Hummel committed another illegal pitch which pushed Kelly to third, while sophomore Amanda Schmidt plated her with a double down the left field in the next at-bat to give JU a 2-0 advantage. After a groundout by Kline, Simon hit slow roller to third baseman Maddie McKinley, who overthrew the first baseman and allowed Schmidt to score for the Dolphins.

In the second inning, the Tigers got consecutive singles to start the half off Kline before Keanah Prestridge cleared the bases with a home run to tie the game at 3-3.

Hummel found a groove by retiring the next nine JU batters, but senior Kelly McKeon drew a walk to start the Dolphins’ fifth inning. After a pop out by Ouellet, McKeon stole second while Engler walked. Both runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch in the next at bat. Hummel struck out Kelly and got Schmidt to fly out to left field to keep the Dolphins off the board.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, McKinley got a one-out single to left field, while Vanessa Walle followed with a walk and Prestridge got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Alyssa Palmieri plated McKinley on a single to center field. Phillips followed with a run-scoring sacrifice fly and pinch hitter Kailey Kassner drove in Prestridge with single to left field to give Memphis a 6-3 lead.

Kline walked to start the sixth inning for JU and Simon was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Kayla Shavers moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Hummel struck out the next two batters to quash the threat.

Memphis got RBI singles from Prestridge and Jessice Phillips in the top of the seventh inning, while Hummel struck out two of the final three JU batters to secure the win.

Hummel (4-2) allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and struck out nine batters in seven innings to get the victory.

Against Saint Joseph’s, the Hawks took a 3-0 advantage in the third inning with the help of a JU error.

Alana Loguidice drew a leadoff walk from Iveson, while Dana Parks advanced her to second on a single to left field. Laura Cardone followed with a sacrifice bunt to third that McKeon overthrew at first base which allowed Loguidice to score and move Parks to third. Moncia Aguilar followed with a RBI single, while Rochelle Christman plated a run on a RBI groundout to cap the three-run inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, Engler reached on an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Ouellet advanced her to third on infield single before moving herself to second on a steal. Kelly plated Engler on a groundout, while Schmidt scored Engler on a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-2 deficit.

The Hawks responded with another three-run inning in their half of the fourth to take a 6-2 lead.

Taryn Ashway opened with a walk, while Loguidice and Parks recorded consecutive singles to load the bases. After JU got a force in the next at-bat, Iveson induced a grounder to Schmidt that she hesitated on and threw wild to home, allowing two runners to score. Brooke Darreff added a run-scoring sacrifice fly to cap the inning.

The Dolphins got a RBI double from Shavers in the fourth inning, but the Hawks added runs in the final two innings to put the game out of reach.

Hawks’ starter Erin Gallagher (4-2) fanned four batters and allowed one hit in three scoreless innings of relief to get the win. Ashway allowed three runs on eight hits in four innings to start the contest.

JU looks to bounce back tomorrow as the Dolphins play Temple (5 p.m.) and Austin Peay (7 p.m.) on the second day of the tournament.