Blue Hens Fall To South Alabama, 1-0, and Jacksonville, 8-2, on Second Day of Jacksonville Inv.
February 23, 2013
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Delaware-USA Boxscore / PDF
• Delaware-JU Boxscore / PDF
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Delaware softball team dropped ist first two games of the season on Saturday, as the Blue Hens fell to South Alabama, 1-0, and to Jacksonville, 8-2, on the second day of the Jacksonville Invitational.
In the Blue Hens’ first game of the day, Delaware (6-2) had a chance in the top of the first inning as UD loaded the bases with one out when Jessica Grisler and Michelle McKinnon walked before Marisa Newman was hit by a pitch. However South Alabama starter Jessica Dobson was replaced in the circle by Farish Beard, who struck out Tori Conrad and Lisa Stacevicz to escape the jam.
Blue Hen starter Chenxi Jiao (at right) held the Jaguars (13-1) scoreless through the first three innings before South Alabama, which is receiving votes in this week’s NFCA Top 25 Poll, pushed across the game’s only run in the bottom of the fourth. Haley Fagan led off with a single to centerfield, and after a sacrifice bunt, Alex Breeden reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. Following a walk to Kaitlyn Griffith, Brittany Campbell bounced into a fielder’s choice, allowing pinch runner Emily Messer to cross the plate.
Delaware (6-1) was held hitless through the opening five frames, before Lara Andrews opened the top of the sixth with a single up the middle. Andrews moved to second base with two outs, but Jaguars reliever Hannah Campbell struck out Conrad to keep the Blue Hens off the board. Amanda Stacevicz legged out a two-out infield single in the seventh, but after pinch runner Gina Knutson advanced to second on a wild pitch, Campbell struck out Hannah George looking to end the game.
Campbell allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out five batters in five innings of relief as she improved to 4-1 on the year. Jiao was the hard luck loser for Delaware, as she gave up just one earned run on seven hits while dropping to 2-1 on the campaign.
During the Blue Hens’ nightcap, Jacksonville (10-4) grabbed the early lead when Karson Tuck delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the Jaguars a 2-0 advantage. The following inning Jackie DiPiazza led off by getting hit by a pitch, and eventually scored on a double to center by Jacey Warner. After Warner moved to third on a wild pitch, she crossed the plate when Emily Sanchez legged out an infield single. Kiersten Coffman then replaced UD starter Taylor Curran in the circle for UD, and after she allowed a single and a walk to load the bases, she got Tuck to pop out to escape further damage.
Victoria Brown ripped an RBI single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, while Warner followed with sacrifice fly to center to drive home DiPiazza as the Dolphins increased their lead to 6-0.
The Blue Hens got on the board in the bottom half of the frame when Grisler delivered an RBI single to chase home Knutson, while George then crossed the plate when Andrews reached on an error by Dolphins second baseman Codi Kelly. The Blue Hens had the bases loaded following an infield single by McKinnon, but Cecile Gomez took over in the circle for Jacksonville and got Amanda Stacevicz to foul out to end the threat.
Jacksonville then got the two runs right back in the top of the sixth, as Morgan Kibler scored on an error by Andrews at third base while Sarah Simon scored when Meagan Balding reached on a fielder’s choice.
Jacksonville starter Dale Tillman improved to 2-1 for the Dolphins after she allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits in 4.2 innings of work. Curran dropped to 1-1 for UD as she was charged with four earned runs on six hits in 1.2 frame. Coffman gave up four runs, all unearned, on six hits with two strikeouts in the final 5.1 innings.
The Blue Hens wrap up play at the Jacksonville Invitational on Sunday with a 9 a.m. game with Mount St. Mary’s.
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