TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
Softball receives vote in final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll

The JU softball’s team run to the NCAA Tournament was noticed by the rest of the nation as the Dolphins received a vote in the final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll for the 2011 season.

The Dolphins, who also earned a vote in the April 26th poll, won their final 26 of 30 contests en route to the best season in program history. JU won its first A-Sun regular season and tournament titles and earned its first NCAA regional bid to receive a spot in the final poll.

“We are excited to receive this end of the year recognition,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak, who was named 2011 A-Sun “Coach of the Year.” “Hopefully, this will send a message to our team that we need to continue our hard work in the off season and start next year where we left off.”

JU finished with a program-best 44-16 record in 2011, including a 15-game winning streak prior to the NCAA Tournament. They recorded a program-best 22 home victories and ended the season with a 16-game winning streak at home, which currently ranks as the fourth-best nationally.

The Dolphins broke team records for home runs (41), ERA (1.48) and shutouts (19) in 2011. The ERA for the pitching staff also ranked as high as third nationally before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Junior Sarah Sigrest received A-Sun “Pitcher of the Year” honors by setting single-season records in wins (27), ERA (1.10), shutouts (10) and strikeouts (208). She also posted 12 wins in her final 13 appearances before the NCAA Tournament to earn second team Louisville Slugger/NFCA all-region honors alongside sophomore Olivia Kline.

Senior Katie Kelly, who didn’t miss a game in her four years, finished as JU’s career leader in hits (207), runs (111), doubles (38), RBI (103), at-bats (674), total bases (277) and assists (357).

Junior Kayla Ouellet, sophomore Sarah Simon and junior Amanda Schmidt also broke records along with Kelly and Sigrest in 2011.

Ouellet passed Jillian Mirante for the career record in steals at Belmont. Simon posted new season marks in home runs (10), walks (42) and slugging percentage (.500) and Schmidt smashed a program-best 50 RBI.