Softball splits marathon doubleheader with cross-town rival UNF
Junior Katie Kelly had the game-winning single to give the JU softball team a 2-1 game one victory in 11 innings over A-Sun and cross-town rival UNF on Tuesday night at the UNF Softball Complex.

The Ospreys (20-21, 6-4) gave the Dolphins (23-15, 2-6) a taste of their own medicine in the second game as Shania Dent recorded a walk-off single in the 11th inning for a 2-1 win.

“We are missing the big hit right now,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Our defense and pitching were great tonight, but we didn’t have that hit that put us over the top. Overall, we are getting back to playing the type of softball we did in the beginning of the year and I really happy with that.”

With the game one win, the Dolphins helped the school retain the Old Wooden Barrel over the Ospreys for the second straight year after getting the decisive 10th point in the annual SunTrust River City Rumble standings.

Freshman Olivia Kline (6-4) secured the game one win for JU in relief after tossing 4.2 scoreless innings, while allowing three hits and fanning three batters. She also allowed one hit in 3.2 scoreless relief innings in game two.

Senior Ashley Iveson (10-6) took the loss for the Dolphins in game two after allowing the game-winning run on two hits and three strikeouts in 3.0 innings of relief. Iveson also fanned six in game one for the no-decision, while sophomore Sarah Sigrest allowed one unearned run in 3.2 innings of game two.

After being the hard luck loser in game one, UNF’s Devyn Findley (16-11) fanned nine batters and allowed no hits in 4.2 scoreless innings of relief to get the win in game two. She struck out a career-best 15 batters in 11 innings to take the loss in game one. Dent allowed one run on nine hits and eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings of the night cap to get the no-decision.

Offensively, Kelly finished with two hits in each game to pace the Dolphins, while sophomores Kayla Ouellet and Amanda Schmidt both had a pair of hits in game two.

Findley finished with five hits on the night to lead the Ospreys at the plate.

In game one, sophomore Kayla Shavers put the Dolphins up 1-0 in the second inning with a two-out solo home run to left center field.

The Ospreys had one hit through the first three innings until Kara Rutenbar led off the fourth with a single to shortstop. After a fly out from Caroline Torre, Rutenbar advanced to second on a single to left by Airen Payne. Iveson remained unfazed, striking out Findley and Stephany Hall in consecutive at-bats to end the inning.

Jackie Reese got to Iveson in the fifth inning with a solo home run to left field to tie the game at 1-1 for the Ospreys.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Amanda Moseley (younger sister of JU’s Amber Moseley) laced a double to left center field. The Dolphins intentionally walked Ariana Godwin and inserted Kline to pitch for Iveson. Britanie Block followed with an infield single to shortstop to load the bases for the Ospreys. Rutenbar laced a shot to Ouellet in centerfield, who also doubled up Godwin at second base to end the inning and force extra innings.

Torre led off the UNF eighth inning with a single to center and was pinch ran for by Alyson Bailey. Payne advanced Bailey to second with a sacrifice bunt, while Findley was intentionally walked. Kline got a pitcher’s best friend by getting Hall to hit into an inning-ending double play to quash the threat.

In the UNF 10th inning, Godwin was placed on second for the international tiebreaker rule, while the Dolphins elected to intentionally walk Block in the first at-bat. Rutenbar tried to bunt the runners over, but Moseley fielded the ball charging down the first base line and nailed Godwin at third. Kline induced consecutive fly outs to keep the game tied at 1-1.

The Dolphins finally broke the tie in the 11th inning when Kelly plated sophomore Melissa Morales on a single to left field.

Morales was placed on second for the tiebreaker rule and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Brie Carmack. Kelly followed with a looping liner that fell into left field to score Morales and give the Dolphins a 2-1 advantage.

Securing the game in the bottom of the 11th inning would not be easy for JU as Findley reached on an infield single to set up runners on first and second for UNF. The Dolphins cut the lead runner off at third on a fielder’s choice hit in the next at-bat, while Kline got the next two batters out to finally secure the win.

In the fourth inning of game two, the Dolphins broke the scoreless tie when Morales plated Kline from first base on a two-out double to the left center field fence for the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Findley reached on an error by Kelly and got pinch ran for by Stephanie McAdam. Dent followed with a single to left field, while McAdam scored on a one-out hit by Reese to tie the game for UNF.

Findley opened with a single in the sixth inning for UNF and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dent. The Dolphins got their third double play of the day as Moseley lined out to Schmidt at third and caught Findley leaning at second base.

With one out in the seventh inning, Kelly singled up the middle for the Dolphins. Ouellet followed with a walk, while Schmidt singled to left field to load the bases. Findley relieved Dent and struck out the next two batters to work out of the jam.

After three scoreless frames, Moseley was placed on second to start the UNF 10th inning for the tiebreaker rule, while the Dolphins elected to walk Reese. Iveson struck out Hall, who was pinch hitting, and Godwin followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners into scoring position. Iveson got Rutenbar to fly out to end the inning and keep the game going a little longer.

The Dolphins went down quietly in the next half inning and the Ospreys got two runners on the same way they did in the 10th to start the 11th inning. Findley singled to a diving Kelly at shortstop to load the bases. Dent followed with a line drive that deflected off the glove of Morales at second base into right field, allowing the game-winning run to score.

JU returns home starting Friday when they host ETSU for a conference doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.