Softball loses in extra innings to FIU, 2-1 (8)
The Dolphins were one out from victory, but FIU scored a run in the seventh inning and the game-winning run in the eighth inning to down the JU softball team, 2-1 (8), on the final day of the Combat Classic on Sunday in Miami, Fla.

Katie Bell had the game-tying double for the Golden Panthers (2-3) to force extra innings, while Desiree Fink drew a two-out base loaded walk in the eighth inning for the win. Jennifer Ginadek (1-2) earned the win in the relief by allowing just one hit and fanning 10 batters in 5.1 innings.

The Dolphins (1-4) were led by sophomore Katie Kelly, who finished 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Freshman Sarah Sigrest (1-2) took the loss after allowing two late runs on nine hits and striking out three batters in 7.2 innings.

“Overall, our record didn’t show how well we played,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I think once we get everything ironed out then we can start rolling. Right now, we have to learn how to win and playing tough competition will help us do over the next couple of weeks will help us do just that.”

With the game scoreless in the third inning, Kayla Ouellet led off with an infield single to the pitcher and moved to second in the next at bat on a sacrifice bunt by Kat Engler. Kelly drove in Ouellet with a single through the left side to give JU a 1-0 lead.

The sixth-inning troubles crept up for the Dolphins again as Kim Rodriguez reached on a two-base fielding error by junior Shannon Monahan with one out. After a ground out to Jessica Landau, Spires drove a single to center which moved Rodriguez to third. Sigrest hit Ashley McClain in the next at bat to load the bases. Pinch hitter Jenny Welch followed by battling to a full count, but Sigrest hit the outside corner for the strikeout to quash the rally and keep JU’s lead intact.

The Golden Panthers would not go down quietly as Bell recorded a two-out, run-scoring double to tie the game and push it into extra innings.

In FIU’s eighth inning, Jennifer Alfonso was placed on second for the international tie breaker run and McClain was intentionally walked in the first at bat. After a fly out to Caroline Rojas, Iriseldis Soberson singled to left trying to score Alfonso, but Engler threw her out at the plate to keep the game tied. With first base open, the Dolphins chose to intentionally walk Lana Lazar to set up an out at any bag. Sigrest lost a full count battle to Fink in the next at bat, which scored McClain and gave the Golden Panthers the win.

The Dolphins return to action on Wednesday to host No. 1 Florida at the JU softball complex with first pitch at 5 p.m. The game will be “Pack the Park” night as the Dolphins are encouraging fans to come out and set new attendance record to create a hostile environment for the in-state rival Gators.