Dolphins win 2008 regular season opener against Minnesota 6-4

Feb. 7, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU softball team got the 2008 regular season off to the best possible on Thursday, as they defeated Minnesota 6-4 at the JU Softball Complex.

Despite battling the rain all evening, sophomore pitcher Ashley Iveson (1-0) continued where she left off last season as she delivered the eighth complete game of her career to pick up the victory. Iveson had two strikeouts and gave up only four runs (three earned) in seven innings.

"I thought today's game was fantastic and one of the best team performances I have seen since my time at JU," said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. "We had great defense, great offense and huge pinch hits from Alexis Novak and Ashley Mora. We are looking to continue this momentum into this weekend's tournament."

The Dolphins (1-0) got the scoring underway in the bottom of the first inning, after senior Patricia Melo scored on an error after getting on base with a double.

The score was broken open in the third inning, as senior outfielder Jillian Mirante, Melo, and sophomore third baseman Beth Glasscock all scored on basesloaded walks by Golden Gophers starter and eventual losing pitcher Katie Dalen to make it a 4-0 game.

Dalen(0-1) pitched six innings and gave up seven hits and six runs (five earned) while recording six strikeouts.

The Golden Gophers (0-1) made a run of their own in the top of the fourth when Malisa Barnes and Shannon Stemper led the inning off with back-to-back singles. After Barnes scored on a passed ball and Stemper on a wild pitch, Brianna Sudenga drove in Sammy Howard to cut the score to 5-3.

The Dolphins added an insurance run in the fifth as Mirante showed off her speed after scoring on a throwing error, following a groundout by Glasscock.

Searching for a comeback in the top of the seventh, Golden Gophers third baseman Colleen Conway led off the inning with a triple. Iveson struck out Sila Ferandez and Malisa Barnes flew out to right, before Shannon Stemper delivered a clutch base hit to score Conway. Fortunately for the Dolphins, the rally ended there, after Iveson forced Casey Wheeler to pop up to Dolphins' shortstop Shannon Monahan.

The Dolphins will be in action again on Friday at the JU Softball Complex, hosting the JU/Best Western Invitational. The Dolphins will have a rematch with today's opponent Minnesota at 5 p.m. before taking on UNC-Greensboro at 7:15. The invitational gets underway at 10 a.m. as UNC-Greensboro faces off against Southern Illinois. All JU games can be seen live via A-Sun.TV on