Long ball dooms Dolphins in 6-1 loss to No. 3 Florida
Two home runs by Gators’ catcher Tiffany DeFelice helped Florida down the JU softball team, 6-1, on Wednesday night at Kate Seashole Pressley Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.

DeFelice had a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Gators (4-1) an early lead before recording solo round tripper to open the fourth inning and hand the Dolphins (4-1) their first loss.

“They are a top five team for a reason,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We didn’t have the start we wanted and they took advantage of it. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and start looking forward to our games this weekend.”

Florida starter Stephanie Brombacher (3-1) allowed just one run on two hits, while recording nine strikeouts to get the win in the circle.

Senior Ashley Iveson (1-1) took the loss for the Dolphins after surrendering four runs on five hits and three strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Sophomore Sarah Sigrest gave up two runs on two hits in 3.2 relief innings.

Offensively, junior Katie Kelly drove JU’s lone run, while freshman Sarah Simon also added a single.

In the second inning, Kelsey Bruder broke up the Gators’ stretch off three straight strikeouts in the first with a leadoff walk. Iveson would get the next two batters, but DeFelice followed with a fly ball that just nicked the back end of the foul pole for a two-run homer to give Florida a 2-0 advantage.

The Dolphins would cut the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-out RBI single Kelly.

Sophomore Melissa Morales leadoff the second inning with a walk, but would get forced out at second on a fielder’s choice hit by junior Katarina Engler in the next at-bat. Engler stole second before sophomore Kayla Ouellet moved her to third on groundout. Kelly followed with a single through the left side to plate Engler and pull the Dolphins back in it.

With one out in the third inning, Brittany Schutte hit a towering pop out to third that fell two feet in front of sophomore Amanda Schmidt and allowed her to reach safely at second base. Schutte moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by Francesca Enea. Bruder chased Iveson from the game in the next at-bat with a double to the wall to score Enea for the 4-1 lead. Sigrest induced two fly outs to end the Gators threat.

JU ran into trouble with DeFelice again as she led off the fourth inning with a home run to left center field for the 5-1 advantage.

The Gators got another run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, while Brombacher retired the final 10 batters to secure the win.

JU will host Presbyterian in a three-game series starting Saturday at the JU Softball Complex. The teams play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. before closing with the rubber game on Sunday at 11 a.m.