Softball defeats FAMU in non-conference action, 9-2
The JU softball team used an eight-run first inning to knock off Florida A&M, 9-2, in non-conference action on Wednesday night.

Freshman Meagan Balding went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the Dolphins (31-14) offense, while junior Amanda Schmidt and freshman Jacey Warner combined to drive in five of the eight first inning runs.

Junior Kayla Ouellet also picked up a steal against the Lady Rattlers (19-20) in the first inning to pass Jillian Mirante (57, 2005-08) for the JU all-time record.

“I am very proud of the way we came out and took care of business,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We did what we needed to do for a mid-week game. Now we have to get ready for two tough A-Sun doubleheaders starting this weekend.”

Junior Sarah Sirgest (16-5) struck out a career-best 12 batters, while allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings to tie Ashley Iveson (16, 2010) for the single-season record in wins.

FAMU starter Jenn Lindsey (8-9) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on three hits without getting an out in the first inning. Whitney Robinson allowed four runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks in seven innings.

In the top of the first inning, Ouellet reached on an error to start the frame while Schmidt pushed her to third in the next at-bat on a single to left field. Sophomore Sarah Simon walked to load the bases and sophomore Olivia Kline followed with a single to plate Ouellet to give JU a 1-0 lead.

Warner cleared the bases in the next-bat with a double that rolled to the center field fence. Balding advanced Warner to third on a single before she scored on a ground out by senior Katie Kelly. The Lady Rattlers committed an error on a grounder hit by junior Brittany Eppley which allowed Balding to score for a 6-0 advantage. The Dolphins rounded out the inning with a two-run single by Schmidt to plate junior Melissa Morales and Ouellet.

Tera Gainer led off the second inning with a home run to left field, while Brittany Doty plated Francesca Singletary with a two-out single in the fourth to make it an 8-2 deficit.

The Dolphins took a 9-2 lead in the fifth inning after sophomore Morgan Kibler scored from third on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice hit by Ouellet.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Briel Gordon led off with a single to center field and moved to second on sacrifice bunt. Sigrest retired the next two batters to keep her stranded and finished the game with a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to secure the victory.

The Dolphins host Campbell on Saturday at 1 p.m. in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader at the JU Softball Complex. It will also be Senior Day as JU will honor Katie Kelly, Jackie Samuels, Brie Carmack, Annike Don and Katarina Engler in a ceremony between the games.