Softball hosts JU Tournament on Friday
Head coach Amanda Lehotak and the Dolphins open the season against UNC Greensboro on Friday.
Head coach Amanda Lehotak and the Dolphins open the season against UNC Greensboro on Friday.
Despite the brisk cold air outside, the JU softball team is ready to get the 2010 season going as the Dolphins host the JU Tournament starting Friday at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins will play Virginia Tech, UNC Greensboro, Drexel and Bethune-Cookman in the first of four tournaments this season.

On Friday, JU starts the day against UNC Greensboro at 3:45 p.m. before finishing with in-state rival Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m. After playing Drexel on Saturday at 12:15 p.m., the Dolphins will round out the tournament day with Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. JU closes the tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Spartans.

“We are excited to get going,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We have had several good practices these last two weeks. These teams are quality programs and will create the challenges that we want to help us get ready for the conference schedule. Hopefully, we can get off to a good start to the year.”

In 2009, the Dolphins battled through several injuries to finish the season with the second-best record in school history and make the A-Sun Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Dolphins also produced two five-game winning streaks, which are both tied for the second longest stretches in the program’s existence.

JU returns 14 players from last year’s squad which includes junior infielder Katie Kelly, sophomore pitcher Sarah Sigrest and senior pitcher Ashley Iveson.

Kelly, a preseason all-conference selection, led the Dolphins offensively for the second consecutive year after tallying a .327 average (56-171), a .404 on-base percentage and scoring a team-best 30 runs. She recorded 43 of her 56 hits at the leadoff spot in the lineup and tallied a team-high 17 multi-hit games.

For her efforts, she earned first team all-conference honors and become the first player in school history to receive Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region first team accolades.

In the circle, Sigrest led the staff in wins (12), ERA (2.35) and strikeouts (134) en route to earning A-Sun all-freshman honors. Iveson posted career bests in wins (10) and strikeouts (100), while finishing the 2009 season with a 1.61 ERA in the final 15 games.

Fans can see a full schedule of the games throughout the weekend by clicking the link at the top of the page.