Softball splits doubleheader with Kennesaw State in home finale
Junior Ashley Iveson hurled seven scoreless innings, while freshman Amanda Schmidt had the game-winning single in the fifth to lift the JU softball team over Kennesaw State, 1-0, in game one of an Atlantic Sun doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the JU Softball Complex.

After five scoreless frames, Schmidt plated junior Shannon Monahan with a two-out single to left field to give the Dolphins (21-27, 5-11 A-Sun) all the offense they needed.

Iveson (8-9) held the opposition in check by limiting the Owls (17-20, 4-8) to a pair of hits and striking out seven for the complete-game shutout.

Kennesaw State returned the favor in game two by picking up a 1-0 victory in extra innings from a two-out double by Catherine Tarvin in the eighth. Owls’ starter April Harper (8-5) scattered eight and struck out three batters to get the win.

The Dolphins stranded seven runners on base in the contest, including leaving runners in scoring position during the seventh and eighth innings.

“We did what we have to do to stay in position to get an A-Sun tournament berth,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I’m happy we found a way to win against two good teams this weekend. We have to fix our mistakes because we have another tough week ahead of us that could make or break the season.”

Offensively, Schmidt paced the Dolphins at the plate after going 3-for-6 for the doubleheader. Freshman Kayla Shavers and sophomore Katie Kelly had a hit in each game to help JU.

In game one, Jena Closner led off the fifth inning for the Owls with a walk. After a fly out, Jacki Warren moved Closner to second with a single up the middle. Iveson buckled down with a strikeout and a pop out from Hollie Huffman to work out of the jam.

Monahan had a one-out single down the right field line to start JU’s fifth inning. Senior Alexis Novak followed with a walk. After a strikeout to junior Ashley Mora, Schmidt hit a single through the left side to score Monahan and give JU a 1-0 advantage.

Iveson took the lead and ran with it by allowing only one hit (a two-single in the seventh) in the final two frames to get JU the victory.

Amanda Burns (2-4) was tagged with the loss for the Owls in the circle after allowing a run on five hits in six innings.

In game two, Owls’ centerfielder Lyndsay McCurry opened a scoreless sixth inning with a double to left field off JU starter and eventual loser pitcher Sarah Sigrest. Jordan Hackett was retired in the next at-bat by stepping on the plate during her sacrifice bunt attempt. McMurry advanced to third when Klair Wells reached on fielding error by Shavers. Sigrest quickly got two consecutive fly outs to end the threat.

Shavers reached on a one-out fielding error by Huffman. After a strike out by junior Amber Moseley, Shavers advanced to second on a single by freshman Melissa Morales. Junior Simone Bruemmer came in to pinch hit, but Harper struck her out to send the game into extra innings.

In the eighth inning, Jordan Hackett legged out an infield single for the Owls. Hackett advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wells and then to third on a fly out by Closner. Tarvin followed with a double to the left field gap to score Hackett and give the Owls the lead.

The Dolphins got a leadoff single by Katie Kelly in the bottom of the inning. Monahan moved her to second base on a sacrifice bunt, but Harper followed with two consecutive outs to end the game and get the win.

Sigrest (11-13) allowed eight hits and a run in eight innings of work in the loss.

JU returns to action on Tuesday when they head to face Bethune-Cookman in a single game at 4 p.m.