Softball splits on first day of JU Invitational
Junior Karson Tuck
Junior Karson Tuck
The Jacksonville University softball team erupted for seven runs in the final two innings to defeat Seton Hall, 10-2 (5), to wrap the first day of the JU Invitational Friday at the JU Softball Complex.

The Pirates (2-4) cut the lead to one in the fourth before the Dolphins’ (9-4) bats awoke again to secure the win. South Alabama shut out the Dolphins, 7-0, in JU’s first game of the tourney.

“I love how we responded after the loss,” JU head coach Ali Higgs said. “Our team had a good consistent attack throughout the second game and Cecile (Gomez) was excellent in the circle. Hopefully, we can use this momentum for more wins tomorrow.”

Freshman Cecile Gomez (4-0) struck out a season-best nine batters, while allowing two hits and two runs in five innings for the win.

Offensively, junior Jacey Warner and Codi Kelly each finished with two RBI against Seton Hall for the JU offense. Senior Sarah Simon had two hits, while junior Karson Tuck had a solo blast two start JU’s four-run fifth against Seton Hall.

Against Seton Hall, sophomore Ashley Simon and Tuck each reached for JU with one out in the second inning. After a strikeout, Kelly doubled to center field to score both runners for the 2-0 lead. The Dolphins added another run in the third inning on a RBI single from Sarah Simon to score Warner.

Gomez retired nine of the first 10 Pirates’ hitters before allowing a leadoff single by Yasmin Harrell to start the fourth inning. Harrell moved to second on a pass ball. After a pop out, Maria DeLuca was hit by a pitch. Gomez struck out the next batter, but a successful double steal allowed Alex Rabbetts to hit in both runners to cut the deficit to 3-2. Gomez bounced back with a strikeout to avoid any further damage.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, JU got consecutive walks from Kelly and sophomore Jackie DiPiazza. Kelly later scored on a wild pitch, while DiPiazza scored on a single by Warner to make it 5-2 advantage. An error on a steal allowed freshman Victoria Brown to cap the scoring at 6-2.

Tuck opened the fifth inning with a home run off the scoreboard. Kelly scored on an RBI single by Brown, while DiPiazza (bases loaded hit by pitch) and freshman Sable Lee (sacrifice fly) also scored in the inning to lock up JU’s run-rule win.

Jenn Metzger took the loss for Seton Hall after allowing five runs on three hits, six walks and four strikeouts in three innings.

Against South Alabama, Stephanie Pilkington opened the game for the Jaguars (11-1) with a double to center field and advanced to third on an error. She scored two batters later for the 1-0 lead.

Sarah Simon led off the JU second inning with a single, but South Alabama starter and eventual winning pitcher Hannah Campbell retired the next nine hitters.

The Dolphins had a leadoff single in the fifth inning to break up the string of outs, but bad execution in a sacrifice bunt attempt resulted in a double play. Campbell allowed another single before inducing a ground out to quash the threat.

In the South Alabama sixth inning, Julie Moss extended the Jaguars’ lead to 3-0 with a two-out two-run homer to left field. They scored four more times in the seventh with the help of two JU errors, while Campbell pitched a scoreless bottom half to secure the shutout.

Campbell (4-1) scattered four hits and struck out two in seven innings for the win. Brown (3-1) took her first collegiate loss for JU by surrendering seven runs, three earned, on 10 hits and four strikeouts.

The Dolphins continue the tournament Saturday against Delaware and Mount Saint Mary’s beginning at 4:15 p.m. Follow the action through live stats at