For the second consecutive game, Jacksonville fell in extra innings to be eliminated from the Atlantic Sun Tournament. JU was defeated by Kennesaw State 2-1 in nine innings Thursday night in Spartanburg, S.C.
Sarah Sigrest came on in relief of Brittany Eppley with the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning and kept the Dolphins in it by consistently getting out of jams and striking batters out.
The Dolphins could not come up with any hits to help Sigrest out and give JU the lead.
The lone run for JU came in the top of the third inning when Melissa Morales sent a pitch over the left field wall for her second home run of the season.
The Owls answered immediately in the bottom half of the third as they strung together three singles to bring across the tying run.
Neither team could muster up much offense the rest of the way as evidenced by the need for extra innings.
It looked as though the Owls might have had the game won in the eighth as they were able to load the bases with no outs. The Dolphins were able to escape by way of a great defensive play by Amanda Schmidt. She reached out and caught a slap hit for an out and then alertly turned and fired to the covering Ronnie Gajownik at third for a double play. Sigrest then promptly struck out the next batter to get out of the jam and swing the momentum back to JU.
The Dolphins just could not get the hit they needed in the top of the ninth. Schmidt led off with a single and then advanced to second after Karson Tuck sacrificed her over. Jackie DiPiazza came in to pinch run for Schmidt and advanced to third on a passed ball after a fly out for the second out. That brought up Sarah Simon to the plate who ended the inning and Dolphin threat with a strikeout.
The Owls leadoff hitter in the bottom of the ninth nearly ended the game as she hit a deep fly ball that looked as if it would have left the park if Codi Kelly had not gotten a piece of her glove on the ball knocking it back into play for a double. After an intentional walk, a fielder’s choice gave Kennesaw runners on first and third with one out. Lindsay Vollmer then hit a walk-off single to give the Owls the 2-1 win and keep their season alive.
The loss brings the Dolphins’ A-Sun Tournament and 2012 season to a close with a final record of 31-25.