Lake's Home Run in Nightcap Gives Blue Hens Doubleheader Split With James Madison
April 9, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
NEWARK, Del. -- Blue Hen sophomore first baseman Bertie Lake drilled a three-run homer during the bottom of the sixth inning to give the University of Delaware softball team a 4-3 win in the nightcap and a doubleheader split with James Madison Saturday afternoon at the Delaware Softball Stadium.
The Dukes, who are now 24-12 overall and 6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association, took the opener 5-4 and looked to be in control during the nightcap as James Madison carried a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth. JMU struck first during the top of the second inning when Haley Johnson worked a one-out walk, went to second when Lori Botkin reached on an error, moved to third when Catherine Clavin was hit by a pitch, and scored on an RBI single by Chel’sea Ryan.
The Dukes added a pair of runs during the top of the fourth when Jasmine Butler delivered a two-out single to drive home Ryan and Ashley Burnham, before the Blue Hens began their comeback in the fifth.
Delaware, which is now 12-25 overall and 3-5 in the conference, loaded the bases with one out when Lake singled up the middle, Jenny Richards walked and Michelle McKinnon legged out an infield single. Lara Andrews then lofted a sacrifice fly to center to chase home Lake, before Dukes pitcher Olivia McPherson retired Amanda Stacevicz on a groundout to keep it a 3-1 game.
But the Blue Hens rallied again in the sixth, as Rachel Jones singled to right center with one out. She was then erased when Michelle Grap bounced into a fielder’s choice, but Brittney Noons followed with a pinch hit single to center. Lake (at right) then worked the count full before lining a pitch over the leftfield fence, her second homer of the season, to give Delaware a 4-3 lead.
Stacevicz, who took over in the circle for UD starter Kathleen Conway in the fourth inning, then retired the Dukes in order during the top of the seventh to preserve the Blue Hen victory. Stacevicz improved to 8-8 on the year after allowing three hits and striking out two in four innings of scoreless relief, while Conway was charged with three runs, two earned, on five hits in three innings of work.
McPherson, who allowed four earned runs on seven hits, dropped to 9-6 for James Madison.
Lake finished 2 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored to pace Delaware, while Jones added two hits during the contest.
The Blue Hens took the lead in the opener by pushing across a run during the bottom of the first inning. Richards led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on an illegal pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by McKinnon, and scored on a perfect squeeze bunt by Andrews.
James Madison would answer right back in the second, as Johnson singled up the middle and scored when Botkin delivered an RBI double to center. Botkin then advanced to third on the throw to the plate, and came around to score when the throw to third by UD catcher Gina Knutson was wild and went into leftfield.
The Dukes maintained their one-run cushion until the bottom of the fifth when McKinnon singled to right with one out and Andrews followed with a walk. Stacevicz then lined a single up the middle to drive home McKinnon with the tying run, although pinch runner Samantha Pettie was retired on the play when she rounded too far past second base. However Knutson (at left) followed by drilling a pitch over the centerfield fence, giving Delaware a 4-2 lead. The longball was the seventh of the season for Knutson, the third most in a UD single season.
The Blue Hen lead would be short-lived, however, as James Madison rallied back with three runs of its own during the top of the sixth. With one out Jasmine Butler doubled to centerfield, and after she went to third on a single to left by Katie Spitzer, Butler came around to score when Richards could not come up with the ball cleanly. UD pitcher Hannah Rust rebounded to retire Megan Shinaberry on a fielder’s choice but Johnson followed with a two-run homer to leftcenter, putting the Dukes back on top.
Delaware attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh as McKinnon and Knutson each worked a base on balls, but JMU relief pitcher Brittany Jeans retired Jones on a hard lineout to shortstop to end the game.
Jeans improved to 5-5 after firing 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, while Rust fell to 0-6 as she was charged with five runs, four earned, on eight hits in six innings of work.
Stacevicz was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the UD attack, while Knutson added two RBI and McKinnon went 2 for 2 with a walk and a run scored.
Delaware and James Madison conclude their weekend series on Sunday with a single game beginning at 12 noon.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive