JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- Coastal Carolina's softball team dropped both of its games at the second day of the Jacksonville University Softball Tournament, falling to North Florida 6-0 and Virginia 9-5 at the JU Softball Complex.
North Florida held Coastal Carolina to just three hits in the Lady Chanticleers' first game on Saturday. The Ospreys took a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Caroline Torre had a lead-off walk and then Laura Williams pinch ran for Torre. Back-to-back singles by Ashley Parenteau and Kara Rutenbar loaded the bases. Williams would score on a sacrifice fly by Heather Hyde, while a Devyn Findley single loaded the bases again for North Florida. Parenteau scored as Gwen Williams was walked and Rutenbar gave North Florida the 3-0 lead when Lauren Pulling was hit by a pitch. The Ospreys added two more runs in the fourth as Rutenbar hit a two-out, two-run home run. North Florida opened the fifth inning with singles from Findley and Williams. With one out, Kacie McCloud hit an RBI single that allowed Ashley Battaglia, who was pinch running for Findley, to score and give the Ospreys the 6-0 lead.
Tori Ahearn had the win after throwing seven innings and striking out five batters. Freshman Michelle Evans (Upland, Calif./Upland) had the loss after she allowed three runs in three hits after 2.2 innings of work.
In the second game, Virginia took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Meghan Oleary started the Cavaliers' offense with a lead-off single and then advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Lauren McCaskey. With two outs, Kelly Haller drove in Oleary with a single and, on the same play, advanced to second. Haller advanced to third off a Courtney Pettit single and then scored when Carly Winger made it on base due to an error.
Coastal began to cut into Virginia's lead in the second inning. Junior Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia) singled through the right side and advanced to second off an Evans sacrifice bunt. Freshman Ashley Pisone (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area) had a base hit to left field that moved Long-Droppert to third. Meanwhile, sophomore Mecaela Ballard (Groves, Texas/Port Neches Grove (Galveston JC)) loaded the bases with a single. Classmate Alyssa Tornatore (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) hit an RBI single to third that allowed Long-Droppert to score and make it a 2-1 game.
The Lady Chanticleers took a 3-2 lead in the third inning as sophomore Alisha Irwin (Salina, Kan./Salina South) and Long-Droppert both scored. Irwin opened the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second off a Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) sacrifice bunt. Long-Droppert had an RBI single that drove Irwin home and also advanced to third base due to a Virginia error. Long-Droppert gave CCU the lead as she scored off an Evans single.
Virginia used a four-run third inning to retake the lead. After Lindsey Preuss' lead-off single, Haller doubled to left field, which scored Preuss. Casey Steffan pinch ran for Haller and would score off a Winger single. An Abby Snyder single to left field moved Winger to third. Jennifer Bowles pinch ran for Snyder and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Allee Rife's sacrifice fly scored Winger and moved Bowles to third. Bowles scored the innings' fourth run off a wild pitch.
Coastal cut the Cavaliers' lead down to one in the fourth inning. With one out, sophomore Laicole Walker (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate School) singled through the left side. Irwin stepped up to the plate the hit a two-run shot to left field in order to make it a 6-5 game in favor of Virginia.
Unfortunately for Coastal, Virginia had two runs in the bottom of the fourth and added another in the fifth in order to put a four-run cushion in between the two teams.
Rife had the win for Virginia after 4.1 innings of work and allowing five runs, four of which were earned, off 10 hits and six strikeouts. Sophomore Ashley Frederick (Lusby, Md./Paxtuent) had the loss after pitching 4.1 innings and allowing six runs, five of which were earned, off nine hits.
Coastal returns to action against Stony Brook in the final day of the JU Softball Tournament. Game time is scheduled for 11:15 a.m.