Softball defeats Iowa State and Presbyterian at JU Tournament on Saturday
The JU softball team downed Iowa State, 5-3, to snap its season-opening winning streak and outlasted Presbyterian, 8-6 (8), in the night cap to close a rainy Saturday in the JU Tournament at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins (3-7) scored five runs in the first inning against the Cyclones (7-1), while freshman Sarah Sigrest allowed one run over six innings to hand Iowa State its first loss of the season.

The Blue Hose (1-3) rallied to force extra innings, but the Dolphins plated three runs in eighth and senior Ashley Iveson stranded the game-tying runs for Presbyterian in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.

Iveson (1-2) earned her first win of the season after fanning six batters and giving up five hits in 5.2 inning. Sigrest (2-4) got the win in relief against the Cyclones by fanning five in six innings. She also tossed 2.1 innings of relief against the Blue Hose.

Offensively, sophomore Katie Kelly and junior Alexis Novak led the way by each recording a combined four hits in the two games, while freshman Brie Carmack drove in four of the eight runs against the Blue Hose.

“Those were two good wins for us,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We played well and needed those results to get some of the monkeys off our backs. I liked our effort today and hopefully we can continue it tomorrow to close out the weekend on a high note.”

Against the Cyclones, the Dolphins went for the kill early with a five-run first inning to take the advantage.

Junior Shannon Monahan reached on a fielding error by Iowa State third baseman Jacquelyn Beatty to lead off JU’s inning. Monahan moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Kayla Ouellet and then scored on a single by Kelly. Novak followed with an infield single to third base. After pop out from Carmack, junior Kelly McKeon hit a sharp grounder that went through the legs of Beatty to allow both Kelly and McKeon to score for the 3-0 JU lead. Things got worse for Beatty as she over threw first base on a ground ball by freshman Amanda Schmidt which allowed her to move to second and score McKeon. Freshman Kayla Shavers plated Schmidt on a single to right field to cap off the inning.

After a scoreless first inning, junior Brittany Abbott ran into some trouble when Alex Johnson led off with a double and Syndi Jones followed with a two-run home run to make it a 5-3 ballgame. Abbott walked Cyclones’ catcher Emily Gilbert before getting lifted by Sigrest, who retired the next two of three batters to end the threat.

Sigrest’s only blemish the rest of the way was a run-scoring triple in the fifth inning before sitting down the final seven batters to secure the win for JU.

Cyclones’ starter Rachel Zabriskie (4-1) took the loss despite allowing five unearned runs on six hits and five strikeouts in seven innings.

In the night cap, the Dolphins plated three runs on five hits with two outs in the first inning to open the game.

Kelly reached on a two-out single to left center field off Blue Hose starter and eventual losing pitcher Mary Gordon. Novak pushed Kelly to third on a double to right center field, while Carmack scored both in the next at bat with a double to the same spot. After a walk to McKeon, Schmidt drove home Carmack on a single to left field to round out the inning.

In the second inning, Kelly drove home Ouellet with a two-out double to left field to give JU a 4-0 lead. Novak followed with another double to score Kelly and extend the advantage.

Presbyterian cut into the lead with a three-run home run by Rachel Anderson in the third inning. The Blue Hose also plated a run on a single by Laura Tate Owings to make it a one run game, but Sigrest relieved Iveson and got the jam.

Blue Hose shortstop Amanda Miller led off the fifth inning with a solo home run off Sigrest to tie the game.

In the sixth inning, Krysten Handy opened with double to left field and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Iveson reentered the game and got two fly outs to keep the game tied.

In the JU’s eighth inning, Kat Engler was placed on second base because of the international tie breaker rule. Oullet reach one-out single, while Kelly walked to load bases. Novak popped out in the next at bat, but Gordon succumbed to the pressure by unleashing a wild pitch to Carmack which scored Engler for the go-ahead run. Carmack put an exclamation point on the inning by driving a home Ouellet and Kelly on a single to left field for the 8-5 advantage.

Rachel Parker was placed on second in the Blue Hose eighth, while Leslie Hensley drew a walk to open the inning. After getting Parker out a third on a fielder’s choice, Handy drove home Hensley on a single to left field. With runners on both first and second, Blue Hose pulled off a double steal to put the tying runs in scoring position during Gordon’s at bat. Iveson buckled down by striking out the next two batters to quash the comeback.

Gordon (0-1) allowed eight runs (five earned) on 15 hits and six walks in eight innings for the Blue Hose.

The Dolphins close out the tournament on Sunday at 8 p.m. against the Cyclones. The Cyclones will finish with the Blue Hose at 9:30 a.m.