SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014
@JUsoftball Wins Road Series At Stetson
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

DeLand, Fla. – Jacksonville University softball swept its Saturday double-header on the road against the second-best team in the Atlantic Sun Conference to win its third conference series of the season and run on a four-game winning streak. The series finale at Stetson is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m.

Jacksonville improves to 20-28 overall and 8-15 in the A-Sun while Stetson falls to 32-11 and 15-7, respectively. The Fins also improve their road record to 3-12.

On the day, the Fins recorded nine runs on 14 hits, including two doubles and two homers. Charli Bradshaw (3-for-6, 1R, 1 RBI) and Lexie Ballard (2-for-4, 1R, 1HR, 3 RBI) each hit .500 while Karson Tuck (3-for-7, 2R, 1HR, 3 RBI) went .429 on Saturday.

GAME ONE: JACKSONVILLE 3, STETSON 1

Jacksonville not only took down the second-best team in the Atlantic Sun Conference 3-1 in the first of Saturday’s double-header, but they handed Stetson’s Meredith Owen, this past week’s USA Softball National Player of the Week, her sixth loss of the season.

The Fins opened scoring in the top of the second inning with one run on one hit. Tuck led off with a double to right field, advanced to third base on Bradshaw’s ground out to short, and scored on Ballard’s RBI sac fly to left field.

Stetson tied the contest 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth frame, tallying one run on two hits as Demi Meza led off with a solo homer to center field. But the tie didn’t last long as the Fins scored two runs on three hits and one error in the top of the sixth for their eventual 3-1 victory.

Pinch hitter Stephanie Frances singled to left field and pinch runner Jackie DiPiazza entered at first. Codi Kelly followed with a sac bunt to move DiPiazza to second base, Victoria Brown doubled to left field, DiPiazza advanced to third and plated on an error by Stetson’s center fielder for a 2-1 JU advantage. Brown then advanced to third base on a passed ball and Tuck’s RBI single to Owen on the mound allowed Brown to score.

Brown also earned her 10th victory in the circle in the complete effort, striking out a season-best seven batters for the second consecutive game. The sophomore allowed only one run (one earned) on five hits.

Owen garnered her sixth loss of the season, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits.

GAME TWO: JACKSONVILLE 6, STETSON 4

Stetson scored one run in the bottom of the first inning but the Hatter’s didn’t hold the lead for long as Jacksonville’s bats were hot and feet were fast.

Tuck tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second frame with a solo shot to left field and then a five-run third inning propelled the Fins.

After Kelly and Brown each singled near the start of the top of the third inning, Emily Sanchez followed with an RBI single to center field that plated Kelly and advanced Brown to third base. Pinch runner Jada Power entered at first. Tuck followed with an RBI ground out to score Brown and move Power to second base. Bradshaw then hit an RBI single to center that plated Power while Ballard followed with a two-run homer to center that scored Bradshaw.

Stetson’s Owen added a second run to its scoreboard in the bottom of the third with a lead-off solo homer to left field and in the bottom of the fourth the Hatter’s added two on Meza’s two-run homer to left for a 6-4 gap.

Jessi Walker (4-5) earned the win after 4.0 innings of relief. Walker allowed two runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out two. Taylor Rossman started the first 3.0 innings and let up two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks.

Stetson’s Sarah Read (10-3) took the loss, allowing five runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk in 3.0 innings of relief.

Next, Jacksonville will look to close its regular-season tomorrow with a road sweep.