Softball splits on first day of Strike Out Cancer Tournament
The JU softball team used a four-run first inning en route to downing UCONN, 10-0 (5), on Friday during the first day of the FAU Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Dolphins (9-5) would also plate six runs in the third inning against the Huskies with the help of a two-run homer by sophomore Sarah Simon. Despite the offensive output in game one, the Dolphins were held to just three singles in tough luck 2-0 loss to host FAU (4-7) in the night cap.

“We didn’t take the first game intensity into the second game,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I thought we beat ourselves against the Owls. We need to bring back what we had against UCONN when we play again tomorrow.”

Offensively, junior Kayla Ouellet finished with three hits in the first game, while sophomore Amanda Schmidt recorded three hits between the two contests.

Sophomore Olivia Kline (6-1) scattered two hits and struck out two batters in five scoreless innings to get the win against the Huskies. Junior Sarah Sirgest (3-2) took the loss against Owls after allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

In the top of the first inning against UCONN, Ouellet led off with a single to third and moved to second on the play when the Huskies overthrew the ball back to the pitcher. She advanced to third before time was called when UCONN starter and eventual losing pitcher Kiki Saveriano was delaying getting back into the circle.

Senior Katie Kelly followed with a walk, while Ouellet scored in the next at-bat after Saveriano overthrew the catcher at home on Simon’s slow ground ball back to the circle. Freshman Karson Tuck was hit by a pitch to load the bases and freshman Jacey Warner drove in Kelly after legging out a sharp hit to third. Kline plated Simon on a sacrifice fly, while Tuck scored on a single to right field by Schmidt to round out the four-run inning.

In the third inning, the Dolphins made it 5-0 after Schmidt doubled home sophomore pinch runner Morgan Kibler. Schmidt moved third on an error on the play, while freshman Meagan Balding walked in the next at-bat. Senior Katarina Engler pinch ran for Balding and advanced to second on an in difference by the catcher. After a pop out, Ouellet doubled home both runners to make it a 7-0 advantage and scored herself when Kelly reached in the next at-bat on a throwing error by the Huskies. Saveriano was lifted for Katelyn Callahan, who was greeted by Simon with a two-run homer to center field to give the Dolphins a 10-0 lead.

Kline had little trouble with the Huskies offense after retiring 11 of the first 12 batters before giving up a two-out single in the fourth inning. She got final out on a fly out to center and pitched a scoreless fifth inning to secure the win.

Saveriano (0-1) allowed nine runs, seven earned, on six hits and four walks in 2.1 innings to take the loss for the Huskies. Callahan gave up one run on two hits and strikeouts in 2.2 relief frames.

With one out and the game scoreless in the fifth inning against FAU, senior Annike Don reached on a fielder’s choice for JU as Kibler was forced out at second. Don stole second and Ouellet reached on fielding error by the Owls. Rose Gressley got Kelly to pop out in the next at-bat to quash the Dolphins threat.

Whitley Herb began the fifth inning for the Owls with a hard single to Schmidt at third that she couldn’t handle. Jordan Stovall moved her to second in the next-bat by reaching on error during a sacrifice bunt attempt. Gressley followed with a line shot to left field that bounced out of Warner’s glove to score both runners for the 2-0 advantage.

Gressley (1-5) would pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to secure the complete-game shutout for the Owls. She tallied seven strikeouts in seven innings.

The Dolphins return to action in the tournament tomorrow against Maryland at 11 a.m. before closing the day with Pittsburgh at 4 p.m.