Softball splits first two games at FIU Combat Classic
Freshman Sarah Sigrest didn’t pitch like it was her first collegiate game as she fanned nine batters to help the JU softball team down Texas A&M-CC, 1-0, to wrap up the first day of the FIU Combat Classic on Friday in Miami, Fla.

Sigrest (1-0) scattered only six hits and walked none to earn her first complete-game shutout, while freshman Brie Carmack had the decisive RBI in the second inning for the win.

The Dolphins (1-1) dropped the opening game to Auburn, who had its pitching staff combine for 14 strikeouts and record a four-run sixth inning to take the win.

“I’m pleased about today,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Overall, we were solid against Auburn even though we had one bad inning. Game two was a good hard fought game and it was nice to see us get a win.”

Offensively, freshman Amanda Schmidt paced the Dolphins by picking up a hit in each game and junior Kelly McKeon went 2-for-3 in the second game. Six different JU players finished with a hit on the first day of the season.

Against Texas A&M-CC, Schmidt opened the second inning with a single to right center. After a walk to Ashley Mora, Schmidt scored on a base hit to left center field by Carmack to give JU the only run they needed.

The Islanders began the third inning with consecutive infield singles from Andrea Simancas and Lauren Sanders. Sigrest struck out Kim Connell in the next at bat, but Mora dropped the pitch and under threw Carmack at first to load the bases for the Islanders. Sigrest showed the poise of the veteran by retiring the next three batters in a row to end the threat.

Following the third inning, Sigrest had little trouble the rest of the way by retiring the next 11 of 13 batters and allowing two hits to help secure the JU win.

Islanders’ starter Stacie Tassin (0-1) was tagged with the loss despite allowing one run on seven hits and striking out two in seven innings.

In the first game, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a bases loaded sacrifice fly from Elizabeth Eisterhold to plate Kayla Tatum.

Junior starter Ashley Iveson kept Dolphins in the game over the next five innings by holding the Tigers to just one hit, but Auburn broke it open with a four-run sixth inning to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

With one out in the sixth inning, Tatiana Fernandez laced a double down the left field line. Cassie Trosclair came in to pinch run for Fernandez and reached third on an infield single by Myesha Finnery. Finnery stole second before Lauren Guzman popped out to the catcher Jessica Abraham. Iveson induced a ground ball to shortstop, but Amber Moseley mishandled Shannon Monahan’s throw allowing Finney to score and keeping the inning alive. Taryn Gray capitalized on the extra at bat after the error by driving in two runs to cap off the inning.

Auburn starter Anna Thompson kept the JU bats as cold as the weather to earn the win in the circle. Thompson (1-0) fanned 10 batters, while surrendering three hits in five innings of work. Jenee Loree struck out four batters in two scoreless relief innings to close out the game and secure the win.

Iveson (0-1) suffered for JU after allowing five runs, two earned, on six hits and had three strikeouts in six innings. Junior Brittany Abbot hurled a scoreless seventh inning to end the first game.

The Dolphins play again in the classic on Saturday against Louisville at 2 p.m. before taking on No. 18 North Carolina in the night cap at 8 p.m.