FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011
Softball begins key home stand on Saturday
The JU softball team’s shot at the A-Sun regular title will be on the line this weekend as the Dolphins start a homestand against Campbell with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the JU Softball Complex.

Saturday’s matchup is also Senior Day for the Dolphins (31-14, 10-2 A-Sun) as they honor Jackie Samuels, Katie Kelly, Brie Carmack, Annike Don and Katrina Engler.

The Dolphins will round out the stand with a twin bill on Monday at 4:30 p.m. against Florida Gulf Coast, who is tied for the top spot in the A-Sun with JU.

“This is a big weekend for us,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Campbell and FGCU are right up there in the standings so we need to do well to stay in the A-Sun race. I’m also excited that we get to honor my first recruiting class. It will be sad to them go, but there are a huge reason of why we are successful over the last two seasons.”

The Dolphins return home after a season-long 11-game road trip where they posted a 9-2 record.

Last time out, JU plated eight runs in the first inning en route to a 9-2 victory at Florida A&M on Wednesday night.

Freshman Meagan Balding went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the Dolphins offense, while junior Amanda Schmidt and freshman Jacey Warner combined to drive in five of the eight first inning runs.

Junior Kayla Ouellet also picked up a steal against the Lady Rattlers in the first inning to pass Jillian Mirante (57, 2005-08) for the JU all-time record.

In the team standings, sophomore Sarah Simon leads the Dolphins in average (.367), doubles (10), triples (3), home runs (34) and RBI (34). She has also hitting .514 in A-Sun play, while Schmidt had 14 of her 30 RBI during the 11-game road trip.

Junior right-hander Sarah Sigrest tied Ashley Iveson for the single-second record in wins after posting her 16th victory on Tuesday. She ranks 20th nationally with a 1.22 ERA, while recording a team-best 139 strikeouts in 154.1 innings of work. The JU pitching staff is eighth nationally in ERA with a 1.45.

The Camels (26-19, 8-4) have risen to fourth in the A-Sun standings after winning eight of the last nine contests since dropping the first game to Lipscomb on April 1. They will play UNF today before facing Dolphins.

Amanda Miller is leading the team with a .331 average and 32 RBI and Keeli Michael has matched her for the top spot in doubles (12). Katie Woodcock has posted a 9-1 record with an 2.01 ERA and 86 strikeouts in the circle for the Camels.

Last season, the teams split a doubleheader in Buies Creek, N.C. before the Dolphins eliminated the Camels in extra innings, 1-0, at the A-Sun Tournament. Campbell holds an 11-7 lead in the all-time series.

The Eagles (27-21, 10-2) are on a six-game winning streak after sweeping Lipscomb on Thursday at home. They will host Belmont on Saturday before traveling to Jacksonville.

Offensively, Courtney Platt is hitting .431 with 15 doubles and 29 RBI and Catherine McDaniel has tallied 101 strikeouts and a 1.45 ERA for a 13-9 record.

The Eagles have beaten the Dolphins in all four doubleheader since coming to the conference in 2008.

Fans can follow both doubleheaders on live stats and the FGCU matchup on video streaming through A-Sun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com.