Day two of the Opening Weekend Tournament silences the Dolphins bats

The Jacksonville University softball team lost both of its games Saturday in the Opening Weekend Tournament.  The Dolphins faced St. Louis in their first game of the afternoon and lost 2-1 in a game in which they managed to record just three hits.  JU returned to the diamond after a brief break to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies and were defeated 7-2. 

The potent offense that the Dolphins displayed in their first day of competition was nowhere to be found on day two.  After hitting nine doubles on Friday, the Dolphins were only able to produce nine total hits in their two games Saturday. 

In their first game of day against the St. Louis Billikens, the Dolphins were able to get off to a good start and score a run in the first inning.  That run however, happened to be their only one of the game.  The Billikens were able to match the Dolphins first inning run and then added another in the bottom of the second. 

Junior transfer Dale Townsend made her first start as a Dolphin on the mound.  She went two and third innings giving up five hits and two earned runs and was on the hook for the loss.  Senior Brittany Eppley came on in relief and shut down the St. Louis offense giving up just one hit over three and two thirds innings.  

Although the Dolphins were able to hold St. Louis to just two runs, they could not muster up any offense after the first inning even though the Billikens had four errors on the day. 

Seniors Kayla Ouellet and Amanda Schmidt, along with sophomore Meagan Balding were only Dolphins to record hits for the game. 

The Dolphins looked to rebound in their next game against Virginia Tech but it was more of the same for JU. 

Senior Dolphin ace Sarah Sigrest had the start for JU but she wasn’t her normal sharp self hitting six batters on the night.  She had four strikeouts compared to three walks.  This was a far cry from Friday’s relief performance in which Sigrest struck out the first seven batters she faced. 

The Hokies were able to strike first putting up a run in the top of the first when leadoff hitter Lauren Gaskill scored from second base on a single by first baseman Courtney Liddle.  Virginia Tech added two more runs in the top half of the second off of Kristen Froehlich’s two run home run.

JU got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when left fielder Jacey Warner put a charge into a ball that easily cleared the left field fence for the Dolphin’s first home run of 2012. 

The Dolphins made things interesting in the bottom of the sixth when Oullet doubled to center.  She then used her great speed to score on Karson Tuck’s single that followed.  Schmidt then doubled moving Tuck over to third with only one out in the inning.  Consecutive groundout to the shortstop quickly ended the inning and allowed the Hokies to escape with the slim lead.

The top half of the seventh however, sealed the victory for Virginia Tech.  The Dolphins retired two out of the first three batters of the inning, but could not get the final out until four runs had been scored by the Hokies. 

JU moves to 2-2 on the season after the two losses Saturday.  They return to action Sunday for the final day of the Opening Weekend Tournament when they face St. Louis for a rematch at 1:30 pm.