Softball falls to No. 5 Florida, 7-0
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The statement ‘walks will kill you’ proved its case as the JU softball team fell to No. 5 Florida, 7-0, on Tuesday night in front of a standing-room only crowd at the JU Softball Complex

The Gators (6-0) benefitted from 10 walks to score two runs, while Aja Paculba sealed the deal with a grand slam in the fifth inning. Stephanie Brombacher (2-0) allowed one hit from the Dolphins (2-3) and struck out eight to get the win.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We gave up too many walks and were a little tight at the plate. Despite the loss, we had several good things, including some key defensive plays. This weekend is a big for us so we need to build off positives from tonight.”

Freshman Jacey Warner had a double for the lone JU hit. Junior Brittany Eppley (0-2) took the loss, allowing two runs on a hit and five walks in an inning of relief, while sophomore Olivia Kline allowed five runs in four relief innings. Junior Sarah Sigrest had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings to start the night.

After Sigrest pitched her two scoreless innings, Eppley toed the rubber for JU to start the third inning and walked Michelle Moultrie. The Dolphins erased her on a runner interference call in the next at-bat, while sophomore Sarah Simon gunned down Paculba.

Despite the two quick outs, Eppley ran into trouble by walking the next three batters to load the bases. She had a 3-2 count on Cheyenne Coyle, and got her to swing at a third strike for the final out, but the umpires ruled that the ball caught the bat for a foul ball. Coyle walked two pitches later to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.

Florida’s Ensley Gamel walked to open the fourth inning and moved to second on a single by Kasey Fagan. Kline relieved Eppley, who allowed an RBI single by Moultrie to score Gamel.

JU showed a small charge in the bottom of the fourth inning as Warner led off with a doublem, but Brombacher quashed the threat by retiring the next three batters in order.

Florida added another run on a base-loaded walk in the fifth inning, while Paculba cleaned them with a deep home run to center field to extend the advantage to 7-0.

Hannah Rogers retired the final six JU batters in order to secure the win.

The Dolphins continue their home stand on Friday with the JU Invitational at the JU Softball Complex. They play Central Michigan at 3:45 p.m. before finishing with Jacksonville State at 6 p.m.