Softball sweeps South Dakota State, 9-0 (6) & 4-3 (8)
Sophomore Olivia Kline had two good outings and junior Amanda Schmidt added a game-winning single to help the JU softball team sweep South Dakota State, 9-0 (6) & 4-3 (8), on Tuesday night in non-conference action at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins (8-4) scored seven runs on six walks in the first inning of game one en route to the win. Schmidt singled home the game-winning run to help knock off the Jackrabbits (0-9) in extra innings during the second game.

Kline (5-1) pitched six scoreless innings and struck out four in the first game to get the win, while also adding two-run homer. She tossed a scoreless frame in the nightcap to get credited with the victory.

“We didn’t play that sharp tonight,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak, who earned her 100th career win in game one. “We didn’t do a lot of simple things right, but we found a way to win and that is what it takes sometimes. Our kids did well through the first dozen games and now I’m ready to see what we can do at a tough tournament this weekend.”

Offensively, junior Kayla Ouellet led the Dolphins after recording two hits in the first game and going 3-for-4 with a double in the night cap. Schmidt had a double to go along with her game-winning single in the second game, while freshman Karson Tuck scored three times on the evening.

The Jackrabbits were led by Devon Reick, who pounded out two hits each game.

In the first game, Ouellet led off the first inning with a single and stole second. After a pop out, sophomore Sarah Simon walked, while Tuck followed with a single up the middle to score Ouellet.

Jackrabbits starter and eventual losing pitcher Kori Seidlitz hit Kline then walked the next four batters to give the Dolphins a 5-0 advantage. Seidlitz was relieved by Pam Nicholoson, who allowed another run on a walk and the Dolphins scored on an error to cap the inning at 7-0.

The Jackrabbits got the first two runners on in the fourth and sixth innings, but Kline retired the next three batters each time to avoid the threat.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Annike Don recorded a two-out single to right field, while Kline followed with a home run to right field as well to end the game early for the win.

Seidlitz (0-4) allowed seven runs on two hits and five walks in 0.1 innings for the loss, while Nicholoson fanned six in 5.1 relief innings before the home run.

With the scored tied at three in the top of seventh inning in game two, Reick reached on a single before getting forced out on a hit by Krista Honken. Junior Brittany Eppley got behind in the count, 3-1, in the next at-bat to Morgan McCabe who smashed the pitch over the left field fence for the 5-3 advantage. The home run would be wiped off the board as the JU coaches caught South Dakota State on an illegal substitution and McCabe was ruled out. Eppley retired the following batter to avoid the threat.

Schmidt got a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning and moved to third on a ground out by Don. Nicholoson finally quieted Ouellet with a ground out to quash the threat.

After a scoreless eighth inning by Kline, the Dolphins got a leadoff double by Tuck who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Jacey Warner in the next at-bat. Schmidt followed with the game-winning single back up the middle to plate Tuck.

Nicholoson (0-5) took the loss, allowing four runs on 12 hits in 7.1 innings. The Dolphins had 3.1 scoreless relief innings from Eppley to keep it close.

The Dolphins head on the road for the first time this season starting Friday at the Strike Out Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. They play UCONN at 4 p.m. before closing with the host Owls at 8 p.m.