Softball secures two more wins on final day of the JU Tournament
The JU softball team continued its hot streak as the Dolphins downed UNC Greensboro, 10-2 (6), and Bethune Cookman, 2-0, at the final day of the JU Tournament on Sunday afternoon.

The Dolphins (4-0) are off to the best start in school history with the help of big days by sophomore Amanda Schmidt and senior Brittany Abbott.

Schmidt had a pair of two-run homers and scored a team-high four times against the Spartans (1-3) in the first game of the evening. With the two jacks, she became the first JU player to record multiple home runs during a single game in program history.

In the nightcap, Abbott (1-0) earned her first complete-game shutout as a Dolphin after limiting the Wildcats (1-3) to just four hits and striking out two batters to get the win.

“I’m really proud of our team’s effort this weekend,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We planned as a team to come out strong and we did just that this weekend. With the way we played, our team laid the framework for something good to build on as we start the schedule.”

Freshman Olivia Kline (1-0) secured her first win in the circle against the Spartans by allowing just two runs on five hits and fanning eight batters in six innings. She also helped her own cause at the plate after going 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Offensively, junior Katie Kelly scored three times for JU in the win against UNC-Greensboro, while sophomore Kayla Ouellet went 2-for-3 with a run against the Wildcats.

Against UNC Greensboro, Ouellet was nailed in the helmet to start the game by Spartans starter and eventual losing pitcher Cory Matteson. Ouellet stole second on the first pitch during Kelly’s at-bat and scored from second during the same plate apperance after Spartans’ catcher Katie Stripling lost track of a pitch that skidded to the backstop.

Kelly walked after Ouellet’s quick trip around the bases, while Schmidt followed with a home run to left field to give JU a 3-0 lead. After a single by Kline, the Dolphins scored again when an errant throw by the Spartans at second base allowed senior Ashley Mora to reach safely to cap the scoring.

In the second inning, Kelly walked again, but got forced out at second from a hit by Schmidt. Mora then moved Schmidt to third on a double to right field, while each scored on a wild pitch during Kline’s at-bat to get a 6-0 advantage.

Kline got two quick outs in the third inning before Jordan Jewett singled to right field to keep the inning alive for the Spartans. Alex Emeterio followed with a triple to score Jewett, while scoring herself on the next at-bat from a single by Kaitlin Merkt.

After surrendering the runs, Kline got them back by knocking in Kelly and Schmidt on a single in the fourth inning to extend the Dolphins lead to 8-2. Schmidt homered to left field again in the sixth inning following a single by Kelly to round out the JU scoring.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Merkt drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on an error by sophomore Melissa Morales in the next at-bat, while Chelsea D’Ambrosio singled to load the bases. Ally Johnson flew out to senior Kelly McKeon in right field. McKeon also nailed Merkt with a throw to the plate as she was tagging up on the play to score. Kline struck out the next batter to quash the threat and secure the win.

Matteson allowed six runs (five earned) on four hits and three walks in a 1.1 innings to take the loss for the Spartans. Raeanne Hanks recorded four strikeouts, but allowed four runs (three earned) on five hit in 4.2 relief innings.

Against the Bethune-Cookman, Abbott held the Wildcats’ hitless through the first three frames until giving up a leadoff single to Aurelia Gamch in the fourth inning. Celsey Tafoya followed with a double to move Gamch to third, but Abbott retired the next three batters to get out of the jam.

Freshman Sarah Simon started the bottom of the fourth inning with a double, while junior Annike Don reached on an infield single to third in the next at-bat. Sophomore Brie Carmack would pinch hit and reach on a fielding error by the second baseman, while allowed freshman Lauren Even, pinch running for Simon, to score from second for the 1-0 JU lead.

In the fifth inning, Ouellet opened with an infield single to the shortstop. Kelly moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat, while Ouellet took third on the play when Wildcats left the bag uncovered. She scored on a wild pitch in the Schmidt’s plate appearance to give the Dolphins a 2-0 advantage.

Allie Garcia led off the seventh inning with a single for the Wildcats. After a foul pop out to senior Amber Moseley, Michelle Banuelos-Smith reached on a single to second base. The Wildcats got runners on second and third on a groundout by Brittani Austin, but Abbott struck out Liz Parrish to secure the victory.

Chastity Saunders was tagged with the loss for the Wildcats after surrendering two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two strikeouts in six innings.

The Dolphins return to action on Wednesday when they play 2009 national runner-up Florida in Gainesville, Fla. for a single game at 5 p.m.