Dolphins Sweep Cornell

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—After a three hour rain delay that pushed the first pitch of the doubleheader back to 8:10 p.m., the JU softball team took both games with scores of 8-0, and 5-4.

Freshman pitcher Taylor Rossman (2-3) had her best game as a Dolphin picking up the six inning shutout in game one.  She allowed six hits while striking out three and walking none. 

While the Big Red (8-11) bats were silenced in game one, the Dolphin (21-8, 5-1 A-Sun) bats certainly were not. 

After scoring a run in the bottom of the second, JU was able to add three more in the third.

The Dolphins strung together five singles in the inning culminating with senior first baseman Morgan Kibler’s two out 2 RBI hit to right field.

A triple by the designated player Meagan Balding in the bottom of the fifth scored a runner on first to put JU up 5-0.  Later in the inning Kibler would pick up her third RBI of the game when she singled to left field to score Balding. 

JU ended the game by way of the eight run mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth thanks to the long ball. 

Catcher Sarah Simon crushed a ball to straight away center that hit off the top of the tallest palm to put the Dolphins up 7-0 and one run away from the automatic win.  That run came when short stop Karson Tuck stepped to plate and hit a low line drive that just cleared the left field fence for her fourth home run of the season. 

Despite the late hour and cold weather, the teams decided to continue on with the doubleheader and start game two.

Tuck picked up right where she left off in game one sending a pitch in the bottom of the second inning over the left field wall to put JU up 1-0.

It looked as if the second game was going to be similar to the first as freshman pitcher Cecile Gomez started out strong blanking the Big Red for three innings. 

Cornell would finally breakthrough however and score its first runs of the day in the top of fourth. 

Back to back home runs for the Big Red not only gave Cornell its first runs of the day but also its first lead as they were now up 2-1. 

The Dolphins would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning when Simon homered for her second on the night to tie the game at 2-2.

With Gomez giving up the back to back home runs the previous inning, Dolphin head coach Ali Higgs decided to go with senior Dale Tillman (5-2) in the fifth. 

This move seemed to pay off as Cornell was not able to get anything going offensively in the fifth or sixth innings.

JU regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Tuck was able to score a runner from third on a fielder’s choice to put JU up 3-2.

The lead would be short-lived as Cornell was able to tag Tillman for two runs in the top of the seventh. 

Trailing 4-3 and with one out in the seventh, the Dolphins were able to get runners on first and second through walks.  Left fielder Jacey Warner hit a line drive to right field that the Cornell player did not field cleanly to allow the tying run to score from second and give JU runners on second and third.  After and intentional walk to load the bases, second baseman Codi Kelly stepped up to the plate and hit a ball of the right fielder’s head to bring in the winning run from third and give JU the sweep.

Jacksonville returns to action on Friday when it hosts USC Upstate for a three game series.  Friday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.