GW Softball Drops Two on First Day of JMU Invitational

Junior Autumn Taylor has hit a team-leading seven home runs this season, including two on Friday afternoon at the JMU Invitational.

March 16, 2012

Box Score vs. Pittsburgh | Box Score vs. James Madison

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The George Washington softball team dropped consecutive contests to Pittsburgh and James Madison on the first day of the James Madison Days Inn Invitational at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday afternoon.

The Colonials (6-14) were out-slugged by Pittsburgh, 8-5, in the first game of the afternoon and were edged by host James Madison, 5-4, in the second.

Junior Julie Orlandi was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs against the Panthers. Sophomore Chelsea Lenhart went 3-for-7 with two runs and an RBI on the day, and junior Autumn Taylor slammed two home runs – one in each contest – for a total of four runs scored. Freshman Victoria Valos scored three runs on the afternoon, including a three-run homer against JMU. Valos also hit GW’s first triple of the season against Pitt.

In Game 1, the Panthers (13-6) jumped to an immediate lead with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Colonials responded with a three-run first, highlighted by back-to-back home runs by Taylor and Lenhart. Valos hit her first career triple to center field, and Orlandi drove home Valos with a double to right for the final run of the frame.

Pittsburgh regained the lead for good with four runs in the top of the third and added another run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. GW tallied two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Colonials’ efforts were not enough to overcome the Panthers.



Senior Amanda Zakeri led off the fifth with a single to center and stole second. Zakeri then advanced to third on a base hit by senior Lauren Wilson and scored on a sacrifice by freshman Samantha Dos Santos. Taylor scored GW’s final run of the contest on an RBI single by Orlandi.

Freshman Chelsey Pedley (0-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs in three innings pitched.

In the nightcap, GW capitalized on a JMU (9-13) fielding error in the first inning to jump to a 3-0 lead. With Lenhart and Taylor on first and second, respectively, Valos launched her second homer of the season to lift the Buff and Blue to an early advantage.

The Colonials allowed a Dukes’ run in the bottom of the first with a fielding error of their own, and JMU cut GW’s lead to one with a home run to left-center in the bottom of the third.

Three straight hits by the Dukes in the bottom of the fifth gave the tournament hosts their first lead of the afternoon. The Colonials pulled within one on a solo home run by Taylor to lead off the sixth inning, but GW could not muster any more tallies.

Senior Kara Clauss (4-8) took the loss after she ceded four runs on 10 hits and two walks in four innings pitched.

GW returns to action on Saturday with a 9:30 a.m. contest against Atlantic 10 foe Fordham, followed by a 2:30 p.m. game with JMU. Fans can follow live stats here.

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