Softball continues on with national ranking

March 26th, 2009

After starting the season 9-1 on their Spring Break trip to Clermont, Fla., the John Carroll University softball team had a two-week layoff because of weather cancellations.Rust could have been a factor as to why the Blue Streaks, ranked No. 15 nationally, split a doubleheader with Wittenberg University.The JCU softball team was one timely hit away from sweeping its first doubleheader ever as a nationally-ranked squad. In the first game against Wittenberg, the team tallied eight hits but was unable to get one when it mattered as they failed to push across a run in their 1-0 loss. “Most of our hits came with no runners on,” said junior Samantha Thompson. “We ended a couple of innings with the bases loaded.”Wittenberg’s sole run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh inning after two errors, followed by a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly to end the game.Freshman pitcher Brittany Danilov was dealt the loss, even though she failed to surrender an earned run in the game. She ended with seven innings pitched, allowing two hits and striking out five.JCU had seven players with a hit, but junior Laura Boselovic was the only one able to collect two hits in the game.In part two of the twin bill, JCU would push across their first runs of the day in the second inning when Boselovic hit a two-out, two-run double.The game would be put out of reach in the top of the seventh when Thompson, helping her own cause, smoked a three-run home run. She was able to close out the game in the bottom half of the seventh to pick up her third win of the season.Not to be lost in the split was the outstanding performance of the freshman class.Danilov may have picked up the loss in game one, but she has been brilliant on the mound. So far this season, she has a record of 6-2 with an ERA of 1.17. She owns an outstanding six-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio.Offensively, three of Danilov’s classmates each contributed two hits and scored twice in game two. Freshmen Michelle Murphy, Erin Riccardi and Olivia Mathews have been fantastic in the early going of their rookie campaign.Each boasts a .300-plus average so far on the season, and Riccardi and Murphy rank first and second on the team, respectively, in runs scored. On Tuesday, JCU split a doubleheader with Notre Dame College. NDC won the first game, while the Blue Streaks were the victors in game two, 8-6.