Despite outhitting the defending national champions, the Dolphins (43-15) stranded eight runners in the game, including two on three different occasions. Andrea Harrison tripled home a run for the Bruins (34-17) in the sixth inning before later scoring on a sacrifice fly to help secure the win.
With the loss, the Dolphins will play the loser of the Florida/Bethune-Cookman matchup tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to try to stay alive.
“We definitely had a chance to win today,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We came out strong, but couldn’t get the big hit to get a run. Our goal now is to fight our way back and our kids are ready to do it.”
UCLA starter Donna Kerr (13-9) earned the win, scattering four hits and fanning seven batters for the shutout.
Junior Sarah Sigrest (26-6) took her first loss since April 8 after allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits (both to Harrison) and six strikeouts in six innings. Junior Kayla Ouellet had two hits to pace the Dolphins.
In the first inning, Ouellet led off the game with a single to third, but was forced out at second on junior Amanda Schmidt’s force hit. Sophomore Sarah Simon was hit by a pitch, but Kerr settled down and retired the next two hitters to keep JU from scoring.
In the bottom of the second inning, BB Bates was hit by a Sigrest pitch to start the frame. Sigrest got two quick outs, but allowed a walk to Samantha Camuso. She fell behind to Kellie Fox, 2-0, before recording three straight strikes to get the out and quash the threat.
Ouellet led off the third inning with a single to the shortstop and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Schmidt in the next at-bat. Simon followed with a looping single to right field which moved Ouellet to third. Senior Annike Don pinch ran for Simon and stole second. Kerr again thwarted the Dolphins scoring chances by getting sophomore Olivia Kline to pop out and freshman Karson Tuck to strike out.
UCLA’s Talee Snow benefitted from a dropped fly ball to reach first to start the third inning. After two quick outs, Harrison recorded the first Bruin hit of the day with a single through the left side to push Snow to second. Sigrest got a fly out to center field to strand the runners and keep the game scoreless.
With one out in the sixth inning, Kline drew a walk for the Dolphins. She moved to second with two outs on a wild pitch, while freshman Jacey Warner walked. Kerr was able to get senior Katie Kelly to strikeout looking to end the inning.
The Bruins finally got a run across in the bottom of the sixth as Harrison tripled to right field to plate Katie Schoreder after her leadoff walk. After a ground out, Kellie Fox reached on an error at third to keep the inning alive. Alyssa Tiumalu followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to score Harrison for a 2-0 lead.
Kerr pitched a scoreless seventh to secure the win.
Along with the ESPN3 broadcast, fan can find other live links to follow the games at JUDolphins.com.