Softball sweeps KSU in A-Sun twin bill, 13-3 (5) & 5-2
The JU softball team was swinging the bats early and often for the second straight day en route to an A-Sun sweep over Kennesaw State, 13-3 (5) & 5-2, on Saturday at the JU Softball Complex.

The Dolphins (22-12, 4-0 A-Sun) scored a season-high 13 runs in the first game by plating eight in the first two innings, while freshman Karson Tuck had a two-run homer in game two to help down the Owls (16-12, 2-2) for the sweep.

“This was a great start to conference play,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We swung the bats really well again, which helped our pitchers had two more good outings. We go on the road for a bit, but I want to us to treat all the games the same and keep building the momentum.

Junior Brittany Eppley and sophomore Sarah Simon each finished with four hits the day to pace the JU offense, while Tuck added three hits. Eppley and Tuck drove in three runs apiece to help the cause.

Junior Sarah Sigrest (12-4) picked up her third win of the weekend in game one after allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and two strikeouts in four innings. Sophomore Olivia Kline (9-5) allowed two runs on seven hits and four strikeouts in the second game to earn the victory.

In game one, junior Kayla Ouellet led off with a single in the first inning for JU and advanced to second in the next at-bat after junior Amanda Schmidt reached on an error. Simon followed with a single to center to plate Ouellet for the 1-0 lead. Freshman Jacey Warner hit a ball to the right side in the next at-bat that got away from Owls’ right fielder Bianca Durant, allowing Schmidt and Simon to score. Eppley made it a 4-0 JU advantage by doubling home Warner to round out the inning.

The Dolphins took a 5-0 lead in the second inning on Schmidt’s RBI sacrifice fly to plate Ouellet. Simon followed with a two-out double to center field, while freshman Karson Tuck pushed her to third on a single. Warner reached on an error which scored Simon and Eppley cleared the bases with a two-run double to give JU an 8-0 advantage.

In the third inning, the Owls scored a run on a sacrifice fly and got a two-out RBI double from Sharon Swanson, but JU scored four times in the bottom of the frame on two bases loaded hit by pitches to take a 13-2 lead.

Senior Jackie Samuels allowed a run with two outs in the fifth inning, but got the final batter to ground out to secure the win.

Jessica Cross (7-4) took the game one loss for the Owls, allowing eight runs, three earned, on seven hits in 1.2 innings of work.

In game two, the Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out single by Tuck to score Ouellet.

Freshman Miranda Fleming led off the JU third inning with a double down the left field line. After a strike out, Fleming scored on a double by Fleming to make it a 2-0 lead. Schmidt got thrown out trying to score on Simon’s single in the next at-bat, but Tuck followed with a two-run home run to left field.

The Owls plated on an RBI double by Swanson in the fourth inning before senior Annike Don scored on a illegal pitch call to extend the JU lead to 5-1.

In the seventh inning, Kline hit Cat Tarvin with a pitch before getting the next batter to pop out and cutting down the lead runner at second base on a fielder’s choice hit by Sara Sikes. The Owls would not go out quietly as Durant followed with a single and Ashley Burkett plated Sikes in the next at-bat.

Cross, the A-Sun Preseason “Player of the Year”, came up with a chance to tie the game, but Kline got her to fly out to end the game.

Owls’ starter Amanda Henderson (3-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and six strikeouts in three innings.

The Dolphins hit the road against starting Tuesday with a doubleheader at Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.