O-Town Eruption

Double digit hits and back to back complete game shutouts led the JU Dolphins to a pair of impressive victories Saturday in Orlando over the Penn Quakers and the UIC Flames.  Jacksonville defeated Penn 9-0 in the first game of the day and returned to the diamond to down UIC 6-0.  The Dolphins produced their fourth shutout in their last five games giving up just two runs over that span.

Junior Dale Townsend (2-2) stepped into the circle for the Dolphins’ first game of the day against Penn and pitched a shutout going six innings giving up just five hits while striking out three.

Neither team had a hit in the first inning but that quickly changed when the Dolphins came up to bat in the top of the second.  Third baseman Amanda Schmidt drew a leadoff walk to start the inning.  Freshman Jackie DiPiazza replaced Schmidt as a pinch runner and quickly stole second.  After a single and pop up, Senior Brittany Eppley came up to the plate and singled through the middle infield scoring DiPiazza and putting the Dolphins in the lead.  Left fielder Jacey Warner was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Karson Tuck eventually came up to bat and hit a ball to the left field wall scoring three Dolphins and leaving her at second for a double.  When the inning was finally over, JU held a commanding 5-0 lead. 

History was made for the Dolphins in the top of the sixth inning.  Freshman shortstop Ronnie Gajownik led off the inning for JU.  She hit a ball to the Penn shortstop and just beat the throw at first for her first career hit as a Dolphin.  Gajownik didn’t waste time celebrating as she alertly took off and stole second catching the Quakers off guard. 

For the game, the Dolphins recorded 13 hits scoring nine runs.  Leadoff hitter Kayla Ouellet led the team going three for four while Tuck registered four RBI’s.

The Dolphins took the field for the second time on Saturday looking to enact some revenge on UIC whom they fell to 14-6 on February 18th in Miami.

JU picked up right where they left off from their first game of the day. 

Ouellet started the game off with a single and stole second for her 18th steal of the season.  After a sacrifice bunt by Tuck that moved Ouellet over to third, she scored on a wild pitch giving JU a lead they would not give up.

The Flame’s offense was shut down by Sigrest (5-3) who went seven innings allowing just five scattered hits and struck out six batters. 

The Dolphins had yet again another big second inning as they were able to plate four runs and build their lead to 5-0.  Fresh off her first hit as a Dolphin, Gajownik hit a line drive to the left center wall for a double, giving JU runners on second and third.  Senior Melissa Morales singled to left field driving in Gajownik giving her an RBI for the seventh consecutive game.  JU was able to add three more runs in the inning off of a walk and a single by third baseman Schmidt.

JU had 13 hits against the Flames with Schmidt leading the team with three of them.  She went three for four with two RBI’s.  Ouellet was caught stealing in the sixth inning breaking her streak of 18 straight successful steal attempts to start the season. 

The Dolphins (10-9) are over .500 for the first time all season since opening day.  They return to the field Sunday for their last game in Orlando when the face Penn at 9:00 am.