THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011
Softball downs Mercer in A-Sun Tournament opener, 4-1
Key hits by sophomore Sarah Simon and junior Amanda Schmidt helped the No. 1 seed JU softball team defeat No. 5 seed Mercer, 4-1, in the A-Sun Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

Simon had a two-out, two-run single for the Dolphins (41-14) in the second inning, while Schmidt hit a two-run homer in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

With the victory, the Dolphins will play on Friday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of the #2 Lipscomb/#3 USC Upstate matchup this afternoon.

“It’s nice to get the win,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We didn’t have our best game, but our kids did a good job of grinding it out and getting the victory. Sarah (Sigrest) was good again in the circle. We need to have our offense a little better tomorrow if we want to advance through the tournament.”

Junior Sarah Sigrest (24-5) picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits and fanning five batters in seven inning of work.

The Bears (31-23) scored their lone run of the day on an RBI single by Randi Rea, while Kari Chambers (15-10) allowed two unearned runs in 1.2 innings to take the loss. Jenni Holtz allowed two runs on three hits, but struck out four batters in 4.1 relief innings.

Sigrest and Chambers would each work of jams for their respective teams in the first inning.

McKenzie Woody opened the game with a single to left field for Mercer and advanced to second on the play from a JU error. Woody moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, but junior center fielder Kayla Ouellet helped keep her there after catching a line out by Kassie Bailey and got the ball back in quickly. Kristin Marko reached on a two-out walk, while her pinch runner stole second. Sigrest struck out Rea to end the inning.

With one out in the bottom of the first inning, Schmidt was hit by a pitch, while Simon walked in the next at-bat. Sophomore Olivia Kline reached on an infield single to load the bases. Chambers retired the next two batters to quash the JU threat.

The Dolphins didn’t squander their bases-loaded opportunity in the second inning as Simon hit a two-out, two-run single to right field for the early lead.

Following the first inning, Sigrest retired 10 consecutive Mercer batters. She allowed a one-out single in the fifth inning to Tiffany Phillips, but got the next two hitters to fly out to end the inning.

Mercer’s Amanda Santa Maria was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth inning and got pinch ran for by Heather Strange. Bailey advanced Strange to second in the next at-bat on an infield single. After a fly out to left field by Marko, Sigrest induced another fly ball to left, but freshman Jacey Warner lost her footing and fell which allowed the ball to drop to score Strange. Sigrest got a line out in the next at-bat to avoid any other runs scoring.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Brittany Eppley led off with a double to right field. Holtz got Ouellet in the next at-bat, but Schmidt extracted her revenge from getting hit twice with a two-run homer to make it a 4-1 advantage. Sigrest pitched a scoreless seventh inning to secure the win for the Dolphins.

Fans can follow all of the action tomorrow through video streaming on A-Sun.TV or live stats by logging onto