SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Jacksonville University softball split a doubleheader with USC Upstate Saturday, winning game one 3-2 and losing game two by the same score.
"That was two hard-fought games," said JU head coach Erica Ayers. "Great pitching efforts by both sides in both games."
The Dolphins (23-20, 4-4) rode a quality start from Alyssa Bilodeau and some timely hitting in the late innings to victory in game one. Bilodeau (14-7) struck out four and held the Spartans (29-15, 8-6) to two runs, none earned, in seven innings.
Nevertheless JU found themselves trailing 2-0 in the top of the sixth when Allie McCourt reached on a bunt single. Makenzie Buss walked before both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Heather Roberts. McCourt scored and Buss took third on a wild pitch, then Madison Ragan tied the game with a perfectly placed RBI-bunt-single down the third-base line.
Kristen Griffith led off the seventh with a walk and was replaced on the basepaths by Seana Mora. Mora took second on a sacrifice by Serena Quinata, and took third on a wild pitch before McCourt put JU up 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
Bilodeau earned the win, and the Spartans' Caylie Van Auken (4-3) took the loss.
In game two Upstate took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single with a runner on second base in the bottom of the first. They extended the lead in the third with a two-run triple.
"We got the timely hit in game one, and they got it in game two," Ayers said.
JU rallied the fourth as Heather Roberts, was was 4-for-4 in the loss, homered to left field. Jordan Daniels singled to center and stole second, setting up an RBI single off the bat of Danielle Baker to cut the lead to 3-2.
But the Dolphins couldn't quite muster the necessary run support for Mora (6-9), who was charged with the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, in five and a third innings. Upstate's Erin Hill (8-3) earned the win by holding JU to two runs on seven hits in five and a third.
The Dolphins and Spartans complete their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cyrill Stadium in Spartanburg.