FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2010
Softball eliminated in the A-Sun Tourney by No. 4 USC Upstate
USC Upstate scored five runs with two outs in the second inning en route to a 7-4 victory over the JU softball team at the Atlantic Sun Tournament on Friday afternoon in DeLand, Fla.

The Spartans (40-14) got a pair of two-out home runs from Cheyanna Ohlrich and Lauren Quevedo to gain a 7-0 advantage. Freshman Sarah Simon hit a grand slam home run in the sixth inning for the Dolphins (33-23), but Morgan Childers retired the final five batters in order to end JU’s season.

“This was a tough way to go out,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We made some mistakes that hurt us, but our team kept fighting until the end and that’s all you can ask for as a coach. Overall, I’m very proud of what our team accomplished this year.

“The seniors had a lot to do with where we are today and I wish them the best of luck. We still have a lot of good coming on the horizon and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”

Childers (33-7) earned the win in the circle for the Spartans, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Senior Ashley Iveson (16-10) took the loss in her final start for the Dolphins after allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Freshman Olivia Kline allowed two runs on five hits in three innings of relief, while sophomore Sarah Sigrest closed the game with 2.1 scoreless relief innings for JU.

Ohlrich and Blake Meredith each had two hits to lead the Spartans at the plate. Crislyn Chewning had a two-run single to help the cause.

Simon had two hits to lead the Dolphins offensively, while four other players finished with one hit.

With two outs in the second inning, Quevedo was hit by a pitch from Iveson. Ohlrich followed with a home run to left field to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Meredith drew a walk and Iveson induced a pop fly in the next at-bat to shallow center field that junior Katie Kelly dropped, allowing the Spartans to keep the inning alive. Kim Brasil followed with a single to score Meredith for the 3-0 advantage, while Haley Sheehan advanced to third. Brasil stole second and was thrown out by Simon, but the umpire ruled interference to allow the runner to take second. Chewning plated Sheehan and Brasil in the next at-bat on a single to right field to cap the Spartans’ five-run inning.

The Spartans did damage again with two outs as Quevedo hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning for a 7-0 advantage.

In the sixth inning, junior Katarina Engler reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Sophomore Kayla Ouellet and Kelly followed with consecutive singles. Simon cleared the bases in the next at-bat with a towering homer to left field to make it a 7-4 deficit. After a strike out, senior Amber Moseley singled to left field. Childers got the next two batters to pop out to end the threat and pitched a scoreless seventh inning to send the Spartans to Championship Saturday.

Despite the loss, the Dolphins produced another quality season in 2010.

JU recorded the second highest win total in program history (33) and the best home record under Lehotak (19-7) to secure the Dolphins second straight A-Sun Tournament. The Dolphins set a new single season record in ERA (2.11), while finishing second on the program list with 329 strikeouts and third in RBI with 175. They also placed a program-best five players on the A-Sun all-conference teams.

The game also marked the final contest in stellar careers for Iveson, Moseley, Kelly McKeon, Brittany Abbott and Ashley Mora.

Iveson set single-season records in wins (16), double-digit strikeout games (6) and strikeouts per contest (8.17). She also finished second on the single-season list with 184 strikeouts to earn second team all-conference honors.

Moseley was also named second team all-conference after batting .353 (12-34) with three doubles, a home run and six RBI.

McKeon finished with a career-best seven doubles in 2010, while Abbott and Mora were key components in helping the Dolphins from 15 wins in 2007 to where the program is now.

Graduate assistant coach Jillian Mirante also closed out a long and successful career for the Dolphins on Friday night. After setting four career records from 2005-08, Mirante helped coach the Dolphins to the second and third highest win totals in program history that resulted consecutive trips to the A-Sun Tournament.