Softball’s offense secures two more wins at JU Invitational
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For the second straight day, the JU softball team’s offense came alive to get wins over Central Michigan, 7-0, and Florida A&M, 6-1, on Saturday at the JU Invitational.

Four different Dolphin (6-3) batters finished with four hits to pace the 20-hit attack. Senior Katie Kelly finished 4-for-8 with two doubles and four RBI to lead the offense, while sophomore Sarah Simon and freshman Karson Tuck drove in three runs each to help the cause.

“This was another good effort by our squad, ” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “Our expectations were to be a good hitting team this year and I’m pleased to see us be that kind of a team. The pitchers were also solid again today. We have another tough test with Jacksonville State tomorrow to close out the weekend.”

Senior Jackie Samuels and sophomore Olivia Kline (3-1) combined to shutout the Chippewas (1-3) in the first game. Samuel allowed one hit in 2.1 innings before giving way to Kline, who struck out four and scattered four hits in 4.2 innings to get the win.

For the second straight day, junior Sarah Sigrest (3-0) recorded another good performance by fanning eight Lady Rattler (4-3) batters and allowing one unearned run on five hits in seven innings for the win.

Against Central Michigan, Kelly walked to lead off the third inning for JU and junior Melissa Morales advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat. Junior Kayla Ouellet pushed her to third on an infield single and moved to second base herself when no one was looking. Simon plated both runners with a single to right field to give the Dolphins a 2-0 lead.

Samuels ran into trouble in the bottom of the third inning after giving up a one-out walk and a single to Brogan Darwin. Kline relived Samuels and retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.

In the JU sixth inning, Tuck recorded a one-out single to left field. Junior Amanda Schmidt popped out before Kline singled to left. Central Michigan reliever Sarah Patterson induced a ground ball to first base in the next at-bat, but the first baseman bobbled it to load the bases. Kelly followed with a bases-clearing double to center field to give a 5-0 lead.

The Dolphins added insurance runs in the seventh inning on a RBI double by Simon and a single by Schmidt. Kline pitched a scoreless frame in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.

Kari Seddon (0-1) took the loss for Central Michigan by allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits in 4.2 innings. Patterson gave up four runs, two earned, in two innings.

With the score tied at one against the Lady Rattlers, Kline put the Dolphins ahead with a solo homer down the right field line to start the fourth inning. Freshman Meagan Balding followed with a double, while senior Katarina Engler reached on an infield single. After a pop out, freshman Jacey Warner walked to load the bases.

Engler was forced out at third during a fielder’s choice by Simon, but Balding was able to score on the play. Tuck gave the Dolphins a 5-1 lead in the next at-bat with a bases-clearing double to left field to score Warner and Simon.

The Dolphins added a run in the fifth inning on a ground out by Engler, while Sigrest pitched two scoreless innings to close the game out.

The Lady Rattlers lead initially, 1-0, by getting a run on two JU errors in the first inning. A two-out Florida A&M error in the third inning opened the door for an RBI double by Kelly to tie the game for the Dolphins.

Whitney Robinson (1-1) took the loss for the Lady Rattlers, allowing six runs, five earned, on 11 hits in five innings of work.

The Dolphins round out the invitational tomorrow with Jacksonville State at 1 p.m.