Softball splits doubleheader at Lipscomb
Senior Alexis Novak and junior Ashley Mora had timely RBI hits, while freshman Sarah Sigrest recorded a solid pitching performance to lift the JU softball team past Lipscomb, 2-1, in the first game on an Atlantic Sun doubleheader on Saturday at Draper Diamond in Nashville, Tenn.

Mora had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the third inning to put the Dolphins (18-22, 3-7 A-Sun) ahead. The Lady Bisons (22-7, 3-1) tied the game in the bottom of the third, but Novak homered in the sixth to put JU ahead again. Sigrest closed out the game with a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to secure the victory.

Lipscomb won game two, 1-0, in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two out bases-loaded single from Kellie Sirus.

“Overall, this was a great road trip for us,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We played well in both games and I was pleased that we put ourselves in position to win each time. We have to continue building on this momentum so we can stay successful in the heart of the conference schedule coming up.”

Sigrest (10-11) earned the game one win by scattering seven hits and allowing one run over seven innings.

Lipscomb starter Whitney Kiihnl (9-4) took the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits and seven strikeouts in the seven innings of work.

In game two, Alania Jacobson got the win for the Lady Bisons, allowing just four hits in the complete-game shutout.

Sigrest was tagged with the loss after allowing one unearned run on two hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Junior Ashley Iveson pitched 4.1 scoreless innings and allowed four hits to get a no-decision.

Offensively, Mora finished the day going 2-for-6 in the two games to help the Dolphins at the plate. Junior Shannon Monahan went 2-for-3 with a double in the second game.

In game one, the Dolphins took a 1-0 advantage in the first inning from a sacrifice fly from Mora. Kelly led off with a double to left field, while Monahan followed with a four-pitch walk. After a fielder’s choice moved Kelly to third, Mora plated her with a deep fly ball to center field to get JU on the board.

The Lady Bisons quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first with a double by Sirus to plate Lauren Dortwegt, who walked to start the inning.

In the fifth inning, Courtney Billington opened with a single to right field. Billington moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sirus. Abby Keese flew out in the next at-bat to Monahan in center field. She also gunned Billington heading to third base for the inning-ending double play.

Novak carried the momentum into the next inning by leading off with a home run to left field to give the Dolphins a 2-1 lead.

The Lady Bisons were held to one hit over the final two innings by Sigrest to secure the win for the Dolphins.

With the game two scoreless in the fourth, Mollie Mitchell drew a one-out walk for Lipscomb and Vanessa Medina followed with a single to left field. After a fly out, Mackenzie Tucker laced a ball to Kelly who drove for it, but had the ball drop out of her glove. Sophomore Melissa Morales alertly picked up the loose ball and threw out Mitchell at the plate to end the inning.

Dortwegt reached on a fielding error by Iveson to open the fifth inning. After stealing second, Dortwegt advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Billington. Iveson was lifted for Sigrest, who got Sirus to ground out to second base. Dortwegt tried to score, but junior Amber Moseley threw her at the play to end the scoring threat.

The Lady Bisons came up with a big defensive play in the bottom of the inning when they threw out Monahan trying for a triple on a relay from right field to keep the Dolphins scoring.

Sigrest got Medina to fly out to open the bottom of the seventh inning. Rottler reached first on the next at-bat on throwing error by Kelly. After a strikeout to Tucker, Dorthwegt got on by an infield single and Billington drew a walk to load the bases. Sirus followed with a single to center field to plate Rottler for the game-winning run.

The Dolphins return home on April 1 to host A-Sun and cross-town North Florida in a doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.