MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011
Softball sweeps FGCU, 8-0 (5) & 5-2
Timely hits and two solid pitching efforts from junior Sarah Sigrest helped the JU softball team take an A-Sun doubleheader from Florida Gulf Coast, 8-0 (5) & 5-2, on Monday night at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins (35-14, 14-2 A-Sun) used eight runs on 11 hits in the first game before having senior Katie Kelly, junior Brittany Eppley and junior Amanda Schmidt each homer in game two to tie the program record for wins with the 2005 squad.

Sigrest (19-5) earned both wins in the circle after allowing just one hit and striking out seven in the first game, while surrendering one run on four Eagles’ (28-24, 11-5) hits and three strikeouts during 5.1 relief frames in the night cap.

“These were two more good wins,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We had a challenging weekend with Campbell and FGCU at home, but our kids rose to the occasion each time. Even though we are off for finals, we are going to work on the small things so we can stay sharp for our final set of games.”

Schmidt and Kelly led the JU offense by driving in three runs each. Sophomore Olivia Kline and junior Kayla Ouellet both added two hits in the first game.

Catherine McDaniel (14-10) took the game one loss for the Eagles after allowing eight runs on nine hits and five walks in 3.2 innings. Kelci Breaux (2-2) allowed five runs, three earned, on four hits in three innings to get tagged with the game two loss.

The Eagles offense got a hit each game from Kirsten Bembnowski, while Brittney Garabedian added a home run in the night cap.

In game one, the Dolphins took a 1-0 advantage in the first inning when Schmidt doubled home Ouellet following her leadoff single.

Schmidt and sophomore Sarah Simon drew consecutive walks to start the JU third inning. Freshman Karson Tuck laced a ball that bounced off the leg of Bembnowski at third and went into left field to score Schmidt for the 2-0 lead. Freshman Jacey Warner advanced the runners into scoring position with a ground out, while Kline followed with a single to score Simon. Kelly added a single through the left side to plate Tuck and round out the three-run inning.

In the fourth inning, Ouellet led off with an infield single to the short stop. Simon walked with one out, but McDaniel got Tuck to pop out. Warner kept the inning alive with a single that dropped in front of the left fielder, allowing Ouellet to score for the 5-0 lead. Kline followed with a single to load the bases, while Kelly worked a walk to plate Simon.

McDaniel was lifted for Stephanie Sullivan, who allowed a single to center field by freshman Meagan Balding to score Warner for the 7-0 advantage. Eppley followed with a single to shortstop Regan Kanpik in the far corner of the infield to plate sophomore Morgan Kibler and round out the scoring.

Sigrest started the game by striking out the side in the first inning. She retired the next 10 in a row before allowing a one-out single from Bembnowski to left field in the fourth inning. Warner overthrew her cut off on the play, but Eppley caught the wild throw and gunned down Bembnowksi at second base. Sigrest retired the next batter to end the game early.

In game two, the Dolphins struggled some as Kline allowed a leadoff single in the first inning to Tori Williams before hitting the next batter and walking Courtney Platt to load the bases. Kline got two quick outs, but hit Emily Lanier with a pitch and scored Williams for the 1-0 lead.

Kline retired the first two batters she faced in the second inning, but walked the next two hitters. Sigrest came in and got a line out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the second inning, Tuck reached on a fielding error by Breaux and move to second in the next at-bat on a sacrifice bunt by Warner. Breaux got a line out, but Kelly followed with a two-run homer over the left center field fence to give JU a 2-1 lead.

The homers would come in again in the third inning with a lead off solo shot to left center field by Eppley. Ouellet singled in the next at-bat, while Schmidt followed with a home run off the scoreboard to put JU up 5-1.

Platt recorded a one-out double for the Eagles in the fifth inning. Mariah Fernandez hit hard grounder back to Sigrest that she deflected off of her glove to Kelly who completed the ground out. Sigrest left Platt stranded after getting a ground out in the next at-bat to quash the threat.

Sigrest allowed a one-out home run to Garabedian and a walk to Platt, but retired the next two batters with fly outs to left field to secure the sweep.

The Dolphins will take the next week and half for finals before competing again on April 27 with a single game at Bethune-Cookman. First pitch is at 4 p.m.