Softball sweeps Kennesaw State in A-Sun twin bill
Senior Ashley Iveson and freshman Olivia Kline each had complete-game shutouts to help the JU softball team to a pair of 2-0 wins over Kennesaw State in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Thursday night in Kennesaw Ga.

The Dolphins (31-17, 9-7) hit the 30-win plateau for the first time since 2005 with the help of a 11-strikeout effort from Iveson in game one. Iveson (16-6) scattered two hits in seven innings to set the new JU single-season record for wins and double-digit strikeout games (6).

Senior Amber Moseley and junior Katie Kelly each had RBI hits against the Owls (24-24, 9-9) in the second game, while Kline (8-5) allowed three hits and struck out three in seven innings to get the win.

“This was a solid effort from top to bottom,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Ashley and Olivia were really sharp in the circle, while our defense did well behind them. We also had good at-bats at the plate today. I plan for us to have the same kind of effort tomorrow against Mercer.”

Jessica Cross (13-10) took the game one loss after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, five walks and five strikeouts in seven innings. Abbey Meixel (9-10) was tagged with the game two loss by allowing two runs on five hits, but finished with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.

Offensively, Moseley paced the Dolphins after finishing 3-for-6 with two RBI and a double. She also battled through a 16-pitch at-bat in the second game for a single. Kelly, senior Kelly McKeon and freshman Sarah Simon all finished with a double.

In game one, junior Katarina Engler legged out a singled to shortstop to open the game. After sophomore Kayla Ouellet moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt, Engler gave the Dolphins a 1-0 lead by scoring with the help of consecutive wild pitches by Cross.

Iveson retired four straight Owls’ batters in a row before hitting Jensen Hackett with a pitch to start the third inning. Klair Wells advanced Hackett to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Iveson struck out the next two batters to erase the threat.

With one out in the fifth inning, Cross issued consecutive walks to McKeon and Engler. Ouellet advanced both runners into scoring position with a ground out to shortstop. Cross got Kelly to line out to second base in the next at-bat to get out of the inning.

The Dolphins finally extended their lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning with a two-out double by Moseley.

Simon grounded out to start the inning before Kline walked. Freshman Lauren Even pinch ran for Kline and moved to second in the next at-bat on a passed ball from Owls’ catcher Morgan Chapman. Sophomore Amanda Schmidt lined out to shortstop, but Moseley followed with a double to the right field fence to score Even.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ashlee Burkett led off with a sharp infield single to second baseman that sophomore Melissa Morales couldn’t handle. After a pop out to Morales, Iveson hit Cross with a pitch to put runners on first and second. Iveson once again struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Iveson pitched a scoreless seventh inning to secure the Dolphins victory and set the new single-season record for wins.

In game two, Meixel was perfect through the first three frames for the Owls with the help of six straight strikeouts to start the game.

Engler grounded out to third to start the fourth inning, while Meixel allowed her first blemish with a walk to Ouellet. Kelly doubled to right field to score Ouellet and give JU a 1-0 advantage.

Kline matched Meixel through the first part of the game before passing her performance in the circle.

Wells recorded a single to open the first inning, but Kline followed by retiring the next 18 batters in a row. Kline fanned three batters and induced 10 fly outs, including five in foul territory.

Moseley gave the Dolphins an insurance run in the seventh inning by driving home junior Annike Don for a 2-0 lead.

The Owls didn’t go out without a fight in the bottom of the seventh inning after halting Kline’s streak at 19 with consecutive one-out singles by Sharon Swanson and Cross. The Dolphins dropped a fly ball in shallow center field, but Ouellet was able to throw out the lead runner at third. Kelsey Kulk laced a shot in the next at-bat off Schmidt’s glove at third, but it didn’t travel far which just allowed the bases loaded instead of scoring the run. Kline got Karlie Gillam to fly out to left field and secure the sweep.

The Dolphins close out the trip tomorrow when they face Mercer in Macon, Ga. for a doubleheader at 4 p.m.