Softball produces perfect fall season
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The JU softball team is ready for the leaves to turn back to green for the spring after finishing the fall campaign undefeated in its first action for the 2011 season.

The record is the second perfect mark in the last three seasons after producing an 8-0 record prior to the 2009 campaign.

“I am proud of how my team played this fall,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I think going 8-0 will help motivate the team to work hard the rest of the fall and have that momentum carry us into the spring. The team knows what we need to work on to be successful in the spring and we are excited to get back to work.”

The Dolphins opened the fall schedule with a doubleheader sweep against Seminole State College (3-2, 14-3 (5)) on Oct. 1. They recorded a pair of wins against Flagler (3-2, 4-2) the next day to close out the weekend.

On Oct. 6, a three-run homer by freshman Karson Tuck helped ensure a 7-0 win over Florida State College in game one before junior Kayla Ouellet’s RBI hit in the eighth inning completed a four-run JU comeback for a 6-5 victory in the night cap. The Dolphins rounded out the fall with two extra innings wins against Brevard State College on Oct. 8.

Offensively, the Dolphins wrapped up the fall hitting .327 (73-223) with 40 runs, 37 RBI and 16 doubles. Junior Amanda Schmidt finished with a team-best .478 average (11-23) with two doubles and seven runs, while Ouellet also recorded 11 hits and tallied a team-best five steals.

Freshman Miranda Fleming produced a team-best 10 RBI, including a walk-off grand slam to cap a seven-run fifth inning in the game two win against Seminole State College. Tuck finished second in RBI with six to go along with five runs and two doubles.

In the circle, JU posted a 1.50 ERA in 56 innings of work with 58 strikeouts and only allowing 12 earned against 234 batters faced. Junior Sarah Sigrest and sophomore Olivia Kline each finished with a 3-0 record, while allowing just one earned run all fall. Sigrest fanned eight or more batters in all three appearances en route to a team-best 30 strikeouts.

Junior Brittany Eppley recorded 13 strikeouts in 13 innings of work between two starts, while senior Jackie Samuels struck out four batters to get the win against Seminole State College on Oct. 1.

The Dolphins open the 2011 season at the JU Softball Complex on Feb. 11 with the JU Tournament. They will play Buffalo and Bethune-Cookman before finishing with North Carolina and Kansas the next day.