Dolphins miss scoring opportunities early and struggle giving up runs late

The JU softball team fell the #1ranked Florida Gators 10-2 Wednesday in Gainesville. 

The Dolphins could not capitalize on early scoring chances, including a bases loaded opportunity, and let the game get out of reach in the later innings.

JU started off the top of the second inning with a single from first baseman Meagan Balding. Right fielder Codi Kelly followed with a walk.  After a Dolphin strikeout, Brittany Eppley singled to load the bases.  JU could not take advantage as the next two batters lined out and grounded out to end the inning and the Dolphin scoring threat.

Eppley (1-1) got the start on the mound for the Dolphins and got off to a strong start retiring the first three Gators she faced.  Trouble found her however in the bottom of the second when Florida designated hitter Kelsey Horton blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Gators took advantage of two walks and a single to load the bases with no outs.  Senior Sarah Sigrest came on in relief but could not prevent Florida for adding to its lead.  After Sigrest got the first batter she faced to pop up, first baseman Ensley Gammel doubled down the left field line scoring two more runs for Florida.  The Gators eventually added another run off of a walk making the score 5-0 through four innings.

The Dolphins made an attempt to get back in the game in the fifth after a leadoff single and a walk left JU with a runner in scoring position.  Senior Kayla Ouellet grounded out to second base but was able to advance the runners to second and third.  Second baseman Karson Tuck hit a grounder to the short stop who misplayed the ball and made a rushed throw to first that sailed high allowing Tuck to advance to second and two runs score leaving the Dolphins only down three.

The Gators ended any hope of a Dolphin comeback in the bottom of the fifth by scoring four runs off of combination of walks, hits, and illegal pitches stretching the lead up to seven.

Florida went on to add another run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game with a final score of 10-2.

Jacksonville (2-4) returns to action this weekend when the team travels to Miami to take part in the three day FIU Tournament.