SUNDAY, MARCH 06, 2011
Softball downs Toledo to close USF Under Armour Invitational, 7-0
The JU softball team used a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory against Toledo on Sunday morning to close out the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.

Freshman Meagan Balding had two RBI hits to pace the Dolphins’ (13-9) offense, while senior Katie Kelly, sophomore Olivia Kline and sophomore Sarah Simon each had extra-base hits.

In the circle, junior Sarah Sigrest (6-3) earned the win after limiting the Rockets (1-9) to pair of hits and striking out eight in seven scoreless innings.

“This was a good way to end the weekend,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “I liked how we attacked early, but we missed some opportunities to put the game away sooner. Overall, I’m pleased with going 4-1 this weekend and look forward to playing at home on Thursday.”

Rockets’ starter Jen Solanics (0-5) took the loss by allowing six runs on six hits in 1.2 innings, while Shana Szypka allowed a run in 4.1 innings of relief.

Junior Kayla Ouellet showed her speed in the first inning by leading off with single and scoring from first in the next at-bat on junior Amanda Schmidt’s single up the middle. Simon followed with a walk, while Balding plated Schmidt in the next at-bat on a single to center for the 2-0 lead. After a walk to freshman Karson Tuck to load the bases, junior Brittany Eppley plated Simon with ground out to second base. Tuck later scored on a delayed steal while Kline doubled home senior Katie Kelly to close the five-run inning.

The Dolphins made it 6-0 in the second inning as Balding plated Simon with a single following her two-out triple to right field. Kelly scored on a bases-loaded pass ball in the third inning to give JU a 7-0 advantage.

Sigrest gave up her first hit of the game in the fourth inning on a one-out single by Jillian Spink, while Lindsey Tobias followed with a walk. Schmidt caught a line drive hit by Alyssa Foy and flipped it to second for her second double play of the day to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth inning, Becki Heimbigner led off with a single to center for the Rockets and advanced to second in the next at-bat as Courtney McCarthy reached on an error. After a pop out to shortstop, Heimbigner and McCarthy moved into scoring position on a ground out, but Sigrest struck the next batter out to leave them stranded.

Sigrest pitched a scoreless seventh inning to help JU lock down the victory.

The Dolphins make a brief stop off the road on Thursday to play Delaware State in a doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.