JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Virginia softball team (4-11) dropped its final game of the JU Softball Tournament, 4-3, Sunday to the host Dolphins in Jacksonville. The Cavaliers concluded the event with a 2-3 record.
After three straight scoreless innings, the Dolphins headed into the bottom of the seventh with a chance to win the game. Jillian Mirante led off the inning with an infield single and moved to second on a sac bunt. A pitch in the dirt advanced Mirante to third and she scored when the next batter, shortstop Katie Kelly, batted in the run with a single through the left side to give JU the win.
Virginia compiled nine hits to Jacksonville’s 10 and committed three errors. Left fielder Lindsey Preuss and catcher Kelly Haller each went 2-for-3 on the day.
Karla Wilburn came on in relief for starter Allee Rife in the second inning and ended up taking the loss, dropping her record to 2-5 on the year. Wilburn went five innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on seven hits. Rife threw 1 1/3 and gave up two runs on three hits.
Jacksonville scored one run in each of the first three innings of play. The Cavaliers got on the board in the second inning. Courtney Pettit led off the inning with a single to left field. Cynthia Javaras came on to pinch run and later scored on a pair of errors by the Dolphins.
The Cavaliers tied the game with two runs in the top of the fourth. Abby Snyder started the inning on the right foot with a double to center and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Wilburn. After the next batter, Sarah Tacke, walked on four straight pitches, JU made a change in the circle.
Shannon Jensen came on to pitch for the Dolphins. Meghan O’Leary beat out an infield hit to load the bases, and Snyder scored on a RBI groundout by Lauren McCaskey. Lindsey Preuss followed with another infield single, beating out the throw to first, to score Tacke from third. O’Leary was called out at the plate trying to score another run on the play to end the top half of the inning.
Virginia opens ACC play with a doubleheader at Georgia Tech Tuesday in Atlanta.