Softball earns two wins on first day of JU Tournament
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The JU softball team started the season in the right direction with wins against Buffalo, 3-1, and Bethune-Cookman, 5-0, on Friday in the first day of the JU Tournament.

The Dolphins (2-0) got key hits late from sophomore Sarah Simon and junior Kayla Ouellet to get the win over the Bulls (0-2), while JU used a three-run first inning to secure the win in the night cap.

Junior Sarah Sigrest (1-0) earned the win in the circle against the Bulls after allowing one unearned run on four hits and three strikeouts in seven innings. Sophomore Olivia Kline (1-0) scattered two hits and struck out five batters against the Wildcats (0-2) for the complete-game shutout.

“This was a good way to start the season,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I saw a lot of things we did well and other things we need to correct, but that is typical on the first day of the season. Overall, I’m pleased with the effort and look forward to building on it tomorrow.”

Simon and Ouellet each finished with three hits between the two games, while junior Brittany Eppley went 2-for-3 with a home run against Bethune-Cookman.

Against Buffalo, the game remained scoreless until the sixth inning when the Dolphins scratched across two runs for the lead.

Junior Melissa Morales begin the inning with a walk and got pinch-ran for by senior Katarina Engler who stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ouellet. After senior Katie Kelly reached on hit by pitch, Engler scored on a single by junior Amanda Schmidt. Simon followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Kelly to give JU the 2-0 advantage.

The Bulls caught a break as Holly Luciano reached on three-base error to start the bottom of the sixth inning. Sammi Gallardo cut the deficit with one out on a sacrifice fly to score Luciano.

Ouellet answered in the next inning with an RBI double to score Morales for an insurance run, while Sigrest pitched a scoreless seventh to get the win.

Bulls’ starter Holly Johnson was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and six strikeouts in seven innings.

Against Bethune-Cookman, Kelly reached on a one-out walk in the first inning. After moving second on a ground out, Kelly scored on a double to left field by Simon for the 1-0 lead. Freshman Karson Tuck reached on a fielding error by the first basemen, allowing Simon to score. Freshman Jacey Warner later plated Tuck on an infield single to give JU a 3-0 lead.

Wildcat starter and eventual Chastity Sanders settled down to retire the next nine Dolphin batters in a row, but Eppley broke the streak with a two-out homer to left field in the fourth inning to extend JU’s advantage to 4-0.

In the fifth inning, the Wildcats broke up Kline’s no-hitter with a one-out single by Michelle Bauelos-Smith. Liz Parrish reached on an error in the next at-bat, but Kline retired the next two batters to end the threat.

The Dolphins added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Kelly and Kline pitched two scoreless frames to secure the win.

Sanders (0-1) gave up four runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings to take the loss. Shanel Tolbert allowed one run on three hits in three relief innings.

The Dolphins return to action in the JU Tournament tomorrow against North Carolina at 4:15 p.m. before rounding out the weekend against Kansas at 6:30 p.m.