Highland Heights, Ky.—The JU softball team took both games of a doubleheader against Northern Kentucky to extend its winning streak to eight games. The Dolphins won the first game 4-2 in eight innings followed by a 6-4 in the second game.
Jacksonville (29-10, 10-3 A-Sun) fell into an early hole in the first game but rallied to tie it and eventually won in extra innings.
The Norse (7-27, 1-13 A-Sun) struck first, scoring the game’s first runs in the bottom of the second.
Freshman pitcher Cecile Gomez allowed back to back home runs in the second to give NKU the 2-0 lead.
The Dolphins quickly responded in the top of the third with two runs of their own.
Senior Morgan Kibler led off the inning with a walk to give the Dolphins a base runner. After a strikeout, freshman center fielder Victoria Brown sent a pitch over the center field wall to tie the game with her fifth home run of the season.
Fellow freshman pitcher Taylor Rossman (6-4) came on in relief in the top of the fourth inning and shut the Norse down. She allowed just one hit in five innings of work while striking out eight batters.
Neither team could take a lead in regulation, sending the game into extra innings.
The Dolphins seized the opportunity in the top of the eighth, plating two go-ahead runs.
Codi Kelly led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt. After the third strike of an at-bat was dropped and the subsequent throw down to first, Kelly alertly moved over to third. Karson Tuck, much like she has done during the Dolphin winning streak, came through with a single up the middle to score Kelly and give JU the lead. Tuck would go on to score after Meagan Balding doubled to give Jacksonville the 4-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Rossman promptly coaxed a foul out and two strikeouts to give JU the extra-innings win.
The Dolphins carried over their late inning momentum into the second game, scoring four runs in the opening frame.
After a single and a double left JU with runners on second and third, Sarah Simon doubled to right center to score two runs. Ashley Simon followed with a home run to left to put the Dolphins up 4-0 after just a half inning of play.
Senior Dale Tillman made the start in the circle for the Dolphins and had things well under control until the fourth inning.
With the score 5-1, the Norse used a double and two singles along with a Dolphin error to cut the JU lead and half and make the score 5-3.
Tillman’s day was done after she allowed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth to make the game 5-4. Rossman came on in relief and picked up where she left off from game one.
An RBI single by Tuck in the top of the sixth gave JU an insurance run but it would not be needed as Rossman was able to shut down the NKU bats. In her three innings of work she allowed just two hits and struck out five batters.
The Dolphins will look to keep the momentum rolling and complete the sweep tomorrow when the two teams face off for the series finale at 11 a.m.