Softball downs Eastern Kentucky, 10-1
Freshman Olivia Kline struck out five in the circle and drove in two runs to help lead JU.
Freshman Olivia Kline struck out five in the circle and drove in two runs to help lead JU.
Freshman Olivia Kline continues to live up to her expectations as she helped lead the JU softball team past Eastern Kentucky, 10-1 (6), in the first game of the Kickin’ Chicken Classic on Friday in Conway, S.C.

Kline (3-0) earned the win in the circle for the Dolphins (8-2) after allowing one run on just one hit and striking out five batters in six innings. She also drove in two runs at the plate to help the JU cause.

Junior Katie Kelly had a three-run double to assist the Dolphins’ offense, while junior Katarina Engler and sophomore Kayla Ouellet each finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI at the plate.

“This was a good way to start the tournament,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Olivia continues to impress us each day. I’m really happy that our team was able to get the hit to drive in runs today that has plagued us in the last two contests. We are happy with the result and will look to build on this victory in the game against Canisius later.”

Kristin Perry (0-3) was tagged with the loss for the Colonels (0-5) after allowing three runs and five walks in an inning of work. Stacye Troupe surrendered seven runs on three hits and six strikeouts in five innings.

The Dolphins did most of their damage in the second and third innings to pull away with an 8-0 advantage.

Junior Annike Don led off the second inning for JU with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. Senior Ashley Mora followed with a walk, which senior Kelly McKeon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Don was forced out at home on a fielder’s choice hit by Engler, while Ouellet singled to the left side in the next at-bat to score Mora. Kelly followed with a bases-clearing double down the left field line to extended JU’s lead to 4-0. Freshman Sarah Simon plated another run on a fielding choice two batters later to cap the scoring.

In the third inning, McKeon walked following a strikeout to Mora. Engler moved her to second on fielder’s choice hit, while Ouellet followed with a single to center to load the bases. Freshman Morgan Kibler walked which plated McKeon to make it a 6-0 lead. After a strikeout by sophomore Amanda Schmidt, Kline followed with a two-run single to give the Dolphins an 8-0 advantage.

Kline was dealing in the circle by retiring all of the Colonels in order through the first four innings. She got two quick outs in the fifth inning to give JU a chance to end the game early, but Jena Handley homered to left field to keep Eastern Kentucky alive for at least one more inning.

The Dolphins tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly in foul territory by McKeon and an infield RBI hit by Engler. Kline got two fly outs and a line out in the bottom of the inning to lock up the win.

JU closes the first day of the Kickin’ Chicken Classic against Canisius College today at 4 p.m. Fan can follow the action through live stats on game tracker by logging onto