THURSDAY, APRIL 03, 2008
Softball to host USC Upstate and Gardner-Webb

April 3, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Dolphins continue A-Sun play this weekend, as they host a doubleheader with USC Upstate on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. and a doubleheader with Gardner-Webb on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins are fresh off beating Bethune-Cookman, (8-3) during the week after sweeping East Tennessee State over the weekend. With the sweep, JU now currently occupies the fourth seed in the conference.

Scouting the Spartans

Chris Hawkins begins his 14th season as the head coach of USC Upstate, which is entering its first season in Division I.

Senior centerfielder Shay Slater is one of four-Spartans batting over .300 (.320) and recently became the school's all-time leader in runs scored.

Heidi Gibbs (.390), Gourtney Felton (.378) and Lauren Quevedo (.306) are also swinging the bats well for the Spartans.

Freshman pitcher Morgan Childers (16-5) leads the way on the mound with a 1.33 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched. Childers earned her first career A-Sun "Pitcher of the Week" honors on March 17.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Tom Cole enters his eighth season at the helm of the Gardner-Webb softball program and is the winningest coach in school history.

Sophomore catcher Mandy Ward is the leader at the plate for the Bulldogs, with a .333 average, six home runs and 24 RBI

Senior outfielder Jessi Williams is second to Ward in all three categories.

Senior Taryn Beck (6-10) has made 18 starts this season and has registered a 2.79 earned-run-average. She has 82 strikeouts in 95.1 innings.

RPI

The Dolphins are ranked 155 out of 283 teams in the nation in the recent RPI poll announced by the Nolan Report.

The Dolphins ranks 130th in difficulty of schedule so far, with that number sure to improve in the coming weeks as they take on Florida, who has the No. 1 RPI in the country.

The Dolphins have risen 79 spots from their final 2007 ranking of 224th.

Two of a kind

With the Dolphins leading East Tennessee State, 1-0, in the top of the seventh on March 30, senior designated player Patricia Melo and sophomore shortstop Shannon Monahan did something that no Dolphin teammates had ever done before - hit home runs in the same inning.

The feat was even more impressive due to the fact that they were both two-run shots.

The Dolphins, who had only had three home runs going into the series, doubled their total when freshman shortstop Katie Kelly hit her first collegiate home run in game two.

Lucky Number Four

After 44 games this season one thing has remained constant: if the Dolphins score four or more runs they are in pretty good shape to get a victory.

The Dolphins are 13-2 in games where they have scored four or more runs, leaving them just 5-24 when they could only reach three or less.

The Dolphins are also 14-2 when leading after four innings.