Blue Hens Use First Inning Rally, Pagano's Strong Relief Effort To Down James Madison, 5-4
April 10, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The Blue Hens erupted for five first-inning runs and Anne Marie Pagano fired 6.1 innings of scoreless relief as the University of Delaware softball team posted a 5-4 victory over James Madison Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of the teams' Colonial Athletic Association series.
Delaware, which split a twinbill with the Dukes on Saturday, improved to 13-25 overall and 4-5 in conference play while recording its first series win over James Madison since the 2002 season.
The Dukes, who dropped to 24-13 overall and 6-3 in the league, jumped ahead during the top of the first inning by scoring four runs off Delaware starting pitcher Kathleen Conway.
After Conway retired the first two batters of the game, Caitlen Manning doubled to centerfield and Jasmine Butler followed with a walk. Katie Spitzer then drilled a home run over the centerfield fence to give James Madison an early three-run lead. Following a Megan Shinaberry walk Pagano (at right) replaced Conway in the circle for the Blue Hens, but Haley Johnson then singled to left before Lori Botkin delivered an RBI single up the middle to plate Shinaberry with the fourth run of the inning. Chel’sea Ryan then singled into right to load the bases, but Pagano got Ashley Burnham to fly out ot right to escape further damage.
However the Blue Hens would answer right back during the bottom of the first, pushing across five runs to take the lead for good. Jenny Richards led off the frame with a walk, and one out later Lara Andrews worked a base on balls to put runners on first and second. Amanda Stacevicz then lined a single to center which would have loaded the bases, but the ball got through Butler, allowing both runners to come around to score.
Gina Knutson then singled to leftfield to put runners on the corners, and after she stole second, Rachel Jones (at left) lined a pitch over the head of Ryan in right, chasing home both runners to knot the contest. Michelle Grap followed with a single up the middle to drive home Jones and put Delaware in front.
The Dukes, who left 10 runners on base for the game, had a runner on third with nobody out in the third when Shinaberry led off with a single to left and advanced two bases on a throwing error by Richards. But Pagano would buckle down from there, retiring the next three batters to maintain the lead.
James Madison put its first two runners on base in the fourth and had two more on during the sixth after a pair of Blue Hen errors, but Pagano worked out of the jam each inning.
In the seventh Pagano allowed a two-out walk to Johnson, but then retired Botkin on a groundout to shortstop Becky Ellis to end the game.
Pagano, who gave up five hits and struck out two in 6.1 innings of scoreless relief, improved to 3-4 on the season. Brittany Jeans dropped to 5-6 for James Madison after allowing five earned runs in a third of an inning, while Dukes reliever Olivia McPherson did not allow a run in 4.2 frames of relief.
Jones paced the Delaware attack by finishing 2 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Delaware remains home on Wednesday when the Blue Hens host Rider in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive