Softball shuts out Belmont twice, 4-0 & 13-0 (6)
The JU softball team took full advantage of the runs they missed yesterday by sweeping Belmont, 4-0 & 13-0 (6), in an A-Sun doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

The Dolphins (30-14, 10-2 A-Sun) posted 11 hits in the first game for four runs before adding an efficient 13 runs on 13 hits against the Bruins (8-29, 1-9) to ensure the sweep.

Junior Amanda Schmidt along with sophomores Sarah Simon and Oliva Kline combined to drive in 15 of JU’s 17 runs on the day.

“This is exactly what we needed,” said JU head Amanda Lehotak. “I wanted us to be more aggressive and take advantage of our opportunities better than we did yesterday, which we did each game. Everyone contributed to the win and we have to good efforts in the circle. We need to use more days like this during the final part of the schedule.”

Schmidt had multiple hits in game one before recording three hits and three RBI in the second contest. Simon finished with a cycle on the day after tripling in the first game and going 3-for-4 with a double and home run in game two.

Kline helped her cause in the circle in game two by going 3-for-4 with five RBI, including a grand slam. Senior Katie Kelly had three hits in the first game, while junior Kayla Ouellet stoles three bases on the day tie Jillian Mirante (57, 2006-08) for the all-time mark.

Junior Sarah Sigrest (15-5) earned the game one victory after scattering three hits and fanning four batters in seven shutout innings. Kline (12-6) scattered six hits and struck out four batters in six innings to get the game two win.

In game one, Ouellet led off the first inning with a walk. Schmidt followed with a single to left field. Ouellet took third on Schmidt’s single and scored on an overthrow by the Bruins left fielder. Schmidt moved to third on the play and scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice fly from Simon to give JU a 2-0 lead.

Simon opened the JU third inning with a triple to left center field. Belmont starter and eventual losing pitcher Mia Vierra retired the next two batters, but Kline followed with a double to the fence to score Simon for the 3-0 advantage.

Sigrest allowed her first hit of the game on a leadoff single by Hannah Irwin to start the fourth, but got a 5-4-3 double play in the next at-bat and a strike out to quickly end the Belmont threat.

The Dolphins made it a 4-0 advantage in the sixth inning on RBI single by Schmidt.

In the Belmont sixth inning, Cassie Bollin recorded a single to third and Irwin followed with a walk. The wind help blow a fly ball back for freshman Jacey Warner to catch in foul territory, while Sigrest got a pop out in the infield to end the inning. Sigrest pitched a scoreless seventh to secure the shutout.

Vierra (1-9) allowed four runs, three earned, on 11 hits and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings to take the loss.

In game two, Ouellet and Schmidt each reached base to start the first inning, while Simon cleared the bases with a home run to center field. Freshman Karson Tuck doubled in the fourth at-bat and later scored on a single by Kline to cap JU’s 4-0 inning.

Kline used the cushion to strand two runners on base in each of the first two innings. She had a runner to second on an error in the third inning, but Schmidt caught a line out to end the threat.

The Bruins got consecutive singles from Julie Harmon and Becca Gift to start the fifth inning. Schmidt cut down the lead runner as Belmont tried a sacrifice bunt, while Kline induced an inning-ending double play turned by Tuck and junior Melissa Morales to quash the threat.

JU broke the game open with a nine-run, seven-hit sixth inning to take a commanding 13-0 lead.

Freshman Meagan Balding had a pinch hit single to left field to start the frame. Senior Katarina Engler reentered the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at bat. Ouellet reached on an error during her sacrifice bunt, while Simon cleared the bases with a double.

Bruins starter Devon Schmidt was lifted for Gift, who walked the next two batters to load the bases. Kline followed with an opposite field grand slam over the right field to give the Dolphins an 11-0 advantage. Ouellet and Schmidt each drove in a run to round out JU’s big inning.

Belmont had bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Kline retired the final batter to secure the sweep.

Schmidt (7-14) was tagged with the loss after allowing seven runs, five earned, on eight hits in five innings of work. Gift allowed six runs, four earned, in 0.2 relief innings for Belmont.

The Dolphins return to action on Wednesday with a single game against Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla. at 6 p.m.