Dolphins get revenge

The Jacksonville University softball team beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles in both games of a double header Wednesday night at the JU Softball Complex after falling to the Eagles 6-2 in Orlando this past weekend.  JU won the first game 2-0 followed by an 8-0 victory in the second game. 

The Dolphins got two great shutout pitching performances from seniors Sarah Sigrest (5-3) and Brittany Eppley (2-3).

Sigrest pitched a complete game shutout giving up just seven hits and one walk while striking out seven.

“Sarah did very well tonight for us and kept us in the game until our bats woke up,” said head coach Ali Higgs.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when JU was finally able to break through and put a run on the board.  After a leadoff groundout, shortstop Ashley Simon tripled down the left field line.  Senior Melissa Morales then came through with a single through the left side breaking the scoreless tie. 

“Mel was clutch tonight,” said Higgs.  “She came through when we needed that timely hit and that is what you expect out of a senior.” 

The Dolphins added another run the sixth stretching the lead to two while Sigrest continued to shut down the Eagles offense and secure the first game of the doubleheader as a win for JU.

Eppley picked up where Sigrest left off going six innings for the Dolphins giving up just two hits walking no one and striking out a season high eight batters.

“Eppley had her best outing of the year by far and was awesome for us tonight,” said Higgs.

JU struggled to find hits for the first four innings in the second game much like the first game, but was able to score three opportunistic runs in the bottom of the fifth off of three Eagle errors.  

Right fielder Meagan Balding started the inning off reaching first base off of an error by the third baseman.  Second baseman Karson Tuck then reached on a fielder’s choice after Eastern Michigan was able to get the lead runner out at second.  After a pop out, Ashley Simon walked giving the Dolphins runners on first and second with two outs.  Morales came through in the clutch again for JU singling and advancing to second off of a throw bringing around Tuck for the go-ahead run.  The speedy Kayla Ouellet then reached on an error when the first baseman dropped the throw allowing Simon to score on the play.    Ouellet then stole second base inducing a bad throw from the catcher that went out into center field scoring Morales and extending the Dolphin lead to 3-0.

The Dolphins ended the game in the bottom of the sixth when they scored five runs.  The JU bats finally showed some life as the Dolphins used four hits and two walks the score the runs without recording any outs. 

With the two wins, the Dolphins (8-8) are now back to .500 and have won four out of their last five games.  They will return to Orlando again this weekend taking on UCF at 5:00 pm on Friday for their first of four games over the weekend.