Bears No Match for Dolphins, JU Wins Three

The JU softball team traveled to Macon, Ga., Easter weekend for a three-game series with the Mercer Bears.

The Dolphins started off hot with a sweep of the Friday double-header, shutting out the Bears in both contests.

In game one, freshman Cecile Gomez continued her dominant performance in the circle allowing just two hits in six innings to go along with four strikeouts on the way to an 8-0 victory.

Before Gomez even stepped foot in the circle, she was handed a three-run lead by her offense in the top half of the first.

Senior Sarah Simon opened up the scoring with a two-run home run, her twelfth big fly of the season. Sophomore Ashley Simon doubled and came around to score on an error by the Mercer defense.

The Dolphins added two more runs in the top half of the fifth inning as Ashley Simon sent a two-run home run of her own over the left field wall. The game came to an end an inning early as the Dolphins would add three more runs in the sixth to cap off the 8-0 win.

In game two, not much changed for either team. Senior Dale Tillman got the nod in the circle for JU and went seven strong innings, giving up just six hits and zero runs as the Dolphins pulled out a 6-0 victory.

Following a leadoff single by freshman Victoria Brown, junior Codi Kelly tripled, scoring Brown from first to give JU the early 1-0 lead.

Juniors Jacey Warner and Karson Tuck added to the lead in the second and third innings. Warner had an RBI single in the second and Tuck added an RBI double in the third.

Sarah Simon dialed up the long ball for her second of the day to lead off the fifth. Ashley Simon then doubled to left, bringing Tuck to the plate who sent the offering over the left field wall for a two-run home run, her second and third RBIs of the game.

In game three of the series on Saturday, the offense and pitching continued their strong play on the way to a series sweep with an 11-1 victory over Mercer.

Freshmen Victoria Brown, Cecile Gomez and Taylor Rossman combined to hold the Bears to just one run on three hits over five innings.

In the top of the first, Tuck continued her hot hitting along with Meagan Balding, who both notched bases-loaded singles, plating three runs for an early 3-0 lead. A walk and a double by Ashley Simon helped get the third inning going for JU. Tuck then tripled, clearing the bases and adding two more runs. Tuck then scored on a groundout putting JU up 6-1.

The Dolphins added four more runs in the fourth off of a sacrifice fly and a pair of RBI singles. The game came to an end on a solo home run by Codi Kelly in the top of the fifth as JU closed out the weekend with an 11-1 win.

The Dolphins face Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday before traveling to Highland Heights, Ky. to take on Northern Kentucky.

Power Surge Lifts JU Past Elon

The softball team welcomed the Elon Phoenix to the JU Softball Complex on Tuesday for a mid-week, out of conference double-header after dropping two games over the weekend to USC Upstate.
The Dolphins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a leadoff homerun from Victoria Brown and an RBI single from Ashley Simon.
The Phoenix would tie the game before JU ran away with game one, 7-2, following shut down pitching and fielding from Cecile Gomez and the Dolphin defense.
In game two, the Dolphins’ power showed up as they belted three home runs on their way to an 11-1 victory.
Dale Tillman was in the circle for JU, going five innings and allowing just one run while striking out four.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, Ashley Simon and Karson Tuck hit back-to-back homeruns on the way to a 4-1 advantage. The Dolphins added two more runs in the second making their lead 6-1.
Following a Meagan Balding homerun, JU strung together four singles in the inning, scoring three more for a 9-1 lead at the end of three.
The Dolphins would add two more runs putting the game out of reach and ending the contest.
Next up, the ‘Fins travel to Macon, Ga., to take on the Mercer Bears in A-Sun play this weekend.

Softball Continues Their Winning Ways at JU Tournament

Photo Courtesy of Jacksonville University

The Jacksonville University softball team got back to their winning ways following a loss to the Florida Gators. The Dolphins defeated Stony Brook 6-1 and Ohio State 4-2 on Friday, the first day of the JU Tournament.

Senior Sarah Simon, junior Karson Tuck and sophomore Ashley Simon each had home runs setting up the two Dolphins (5-2) victories.

“This was an excellent way to start the tourney,” JU head coach Ali Higgs said. “Our team came to play today and it showed. We need to build off the momentum to help us with another tough day tomorrow.”
The freshman-pitching duo of Cecile Gomez and Victoria Brown held strong yet again for the Dolphins, propelling JU to the wins.

On Saturday, the Dolphins split their two games, defeating Stony Brook 9-1 and losing to No. 16 ranked Louisville 9-0.

Jacey Warner had four total hits on the day to lead the Dolphins offensive attack. Warner, Sarah Simon and Sable Lee all had two RBI’s against Stony Brook.

In the game against Louisville, a few Dolphin errors proved costly as the Cardinals broke the game open early.
The Dolphins generated a few opportunities but the Cardinals pitching staff shut down their attack every time.

On the final day of the JU Tournament, the Dolphins sent Cecile Gomez back to the mound to face the Bethune Cookman Wildcats and try to close out the weekend on a winning note.
Gomez struck out seven while allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings of work.

“This is a good way to end the weekend,” JU head coach Ali Higgs said. “Even though we didn’t start great, I was happy with the way we battled and did what we had to do for the win. We have some things we have to work out in practice before another challenging home tourney next weekend.”

The Dolphins offense was held down through the first few innings. JU broke through for a few runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead on their way to a 3-2 victory.

JU’s next matchup is in Tallahassee where they’ll take on FAMU before returning home for the JU Invitational this week, Friday-Sunday.

Softball EW LT BJ

After earning a split with the University of South Carolina Upstate Spartans (32-8, 5-3), the Jacksonville University Softball team took on the Bucs of Eastern Tennessee State University.

The Dolphins (26-19, 7-5) got their first conference double-header sweep, defeating ETSU 9-1 and 5-1. The Bucs (10-27, 0-10) struggled to muster any offense in either game, falling easily to the Dolphins.

JU run-ruled the Bucs in game one thanks to two huge home runs by Sarah Simon and Karson Tuck.

“We’ve been looking for a break through on offense, and it started last night as we carried it over to today,” said Head Coach Ali Higgs.  “We were patient at the plate and had some really good at bats.  Our pitchers did a good job of limiting their offense and not letting them get big momentum building innings.”

Along with a good offensive showing, pitching was a huge dynamic in their sweep. Sarah Sigrest and Brittany Eppley combined to hold ETSU to one run on five hits. Sigrest got the win in three innings of work and Eppley struck out three over the final two innings.

The Dolphins jumped on the board quickly in both games only to see ETSU strike back and tie the game shortly after. From that point on in both games, the Dolphins did not let the Bucs into the games. They continued to score at will and control the game in commanding fashion.

The Dolphins are looking to put together a good stretch run leading up to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in Spartanburg, S.C. JU goes to the University of North Florida on Friday. After that JU hosts Georgia Southern University and concludes their regular season in DeLand, Fla. against Stetson University.

Softball Splits a Double Header

Photo by Brett Durda

The Jacksonville University Softball team played a double header against Florida International University on March 14. The team won the first game 7 – 0, but was defeated by FIU in the second game ending with a score of 2 – 6.

Pitcher Sarah Sigrest, shutout FIU in the first game and only allowed six hits. Sigrest now has a school record of 41 consecutive scoreless innings.

Catcher Sarah Simon, recorded 5 RBI’s. Simon’s five RBI’s brought the team to a total of 22 RBI’s.

The end of the first inning is when JU got things started. Kayla Ouellet hit the first pitch and then stole the 2nd base; on third pitch she took 3rd base. Amanda Schmidt of the Dolphins hit a ball to the outfield allowing Ouellet to take it home.

The Dolphins had the lead 1 – 0 until the 4th inning. Ouellet made the second run of the game. When Simon stepped up to the plate with bases loaded, she hit a grand slam. This was the second time this season that the Dolphins have hit a grand slam; Schmidt hit the first grand slam earlier in the season.

In the 6th inning JU made another run, which gave them a final score of 7 – 0.

In the second game the Dolphins lost the momentum and were defeated by FIU with a score of 6 – 2.

It was not until the 5th inning that the Dolphins made their first hit, but didn’t reach home. Meagan Balding allowed the ball to get past her leaving a runner able to score on second base and another to move to third base. By the time the inning was over FIU made three runs off of four hits. Freshman Ronnie Gajownik made the first hit of the game for the Dolphins. Mellisa Morales of the Dolphins reached 1st base due to an error on FIU. The Dolphins then had runners on first and 2nd base but only made one run.

The 7th inning began with FIU making three more runs. JU fell to FIU with a final score of 6 – 2.

The ladies (17-14) will be back on the field Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, as they host Belmont University and Lipscomb University.

Softball

Photo by Brett Durda

The JU softball team remained scalding hot against the visiting Hornets of Delaware State. Winners of seven of their last eight and five in a row, the Dolphins took both ends of a double header last Wednesday to improve to 13-9 in the season.
In game 1, JU struck first in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Third baseman Amanda Schmidt singled to start the inning. Schmidt advanced to 2nd base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Ashley Simon and then scored on a double play by Brittany Eppley.
Delaware St. got 2 runs of their own to take the lead in the 5th. JU immediately responded with a run in the bottom half of the 5th to cut the lead to 3-2. An inning later, Sarah Simon belted a solo home run to left field tying the game.
The game remained tied after 7 and moved into extra innings. Senior Sarah Sigrest came on in relief of Eppley at the beginning of extra innings. Sigrest tore through the Hornets line up going 3 scoreless innings while striking out 4. In the bottom of the 9th, with a runner on 3rd, Jacey Warner singled to left for the walk-off RBI.
The Dolphins kept the momentum rolling in game 2 and made short work of Delaware State. The big blow of the game was the Amanda Schmidt grand slam in the bottom of the 2nd. JU added 3 runs in the 3rd and 6 more in the 4th on the way to a 15-0 win in 5 innings.
Center fielder Kayla Ouelette went 3 for 4 in game 2. Amanda Schmidt led the team with 6 RBI. Sarah Sigrest pitched all of game 2 on her way to her 2nd win of the night and 27 straight scoreless innings pitched.
JU had the weekend off before they defeated Tulsa Monday 1-0 on yet another Sarah Sigrest shutout pushing her scoreless innings stretch to 34. They next play host to a double header Wednesday the 14th starting at 4 p.m. vs Florida International University.

Softball

The Jacksonville University Women’s Softball team avenged their loss in Orlando to the Eastern Michigan Eagles with a sweep of a double header at the Jacksonville University Softball Complex.

The Dolphins won game 1 by a score of 2-0 and game 2 8-0. They got 2 great shutout pitching performances by Sarah Sigrest and Brittany Eppley. Sigrest went 7 innings giving up 7 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts in game 1.

“Sarah did very well for us and kept us in the game until our bats woke up,” said Head Coach Ali Higgs.

Game 1 was scoreless until the bottom of the 5th. FR. Shortstop Ashley Simon got it going with a 1 out triple. Senior Melissa Morales then singled to score Simon giving JU a 1-0 lead.

“Mel was clutch tonight,” said Higgs. “She came through when we needed that timely hit and that is what you expect out of a senior.”

JU went on to add one more run to pad their lead which they would not relinquish.

In game 2, Eppley wasted no time picking up where Sigrest left off. She went 6 innings giving up no runs on 2 hits with no walks and 8 strikeouts.

“Eppley had her best outing of the year by far and was awesome for us tonight,” said Higgs.

The bats were quiet early just like in game 1 for JU. Right fielder Meagan Balding led off the 5th by reaching on an error. Ashley Simon later walked giving the Dolphins 2 on and 2 out. Morales again singled giving JU their first run of the game. Kayla Ouellette then reached on an error plating another run. She then stole second and on the throw, Morales was able to take home for a 3-0 lead.

JU ended the game in the bottom of the 6th with 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. At the end of the night, JU had reached .500 (8-8) and were headed back to Orlando for another UCF tournament.

Winners in 4 of their last 5, JU fell 2-1 to host UCF in the first game of their 4 game weekend event. They came out Saturday and defeated University of Penn 9-0 then went to defeat University of Illinois-Chicago 8-0. They wrapped up the weekend against Penn with a 5-0 victory.

The team will return home for a double header on Wednesday against Delaware St. University. Game 1 will start at 5 and game 2 is set for 7.

Softball Team Knocks Off Knights, then Splits a Doubleheader

Photo by Brett Durda

The Jacksonville University Women’s Softball team hit the road Friday, traveling to Orlando for the University of Central Florida Tournament.
JU opened the tournament against host UCF that afternoon. The UCF Knights scored first in the 3rd inning after their lead off batter reached on an error and was advanced home soon after on a routine groundout.
The Dolphins took the lead in the 5th with a 2 run home run off the bat of catcher Sarah Simon,a junior, her third home run in 4 games.
UCF tied the game at 2 in the bottom half of the 6th. The tie was immediately broken by JU.
Senior OF Kayla Ouellet, started the 7th with a walk. Ouellet moved to 3rd on two fielders choice. She then took off for home on a wild pitch for the game winning run.
UCF did not go away quietly. They loaded the bases with 1 out in the bottom half of the 7th. The next crack of the bat was a line drive to left field that was caught by sophomore Jacey Warner who then fired the ball home to Simon in time to put the tag on the UCF base runner ending the game. Simon’s offense an defense helped propel JU to a 3-2 victory over the host Knights along with senior Sarah Sigrests stellar pitching performance.

JU was right back at it Saturday to take on Seton Hall. The Pirates jumped to a quick 1-0 lead in the 1st.
It seemed as if JU would get nothing going offensively until the Dolphins started to make a little noise in the 5th.

Sophomore Megan Balding led off the inning with a single. Karson Tuck, also a sophomore, then bunted safely. First baseman Brittany Eppley, senior, then sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Freshman shortstop Ashley Simon singled up the middle to plate Balding and Tuck giving JU s 2-1 lead.
JU continued to rally in the 6th, loading the bases with no outs. Ashley Simon again drove in 2 runs with another single. The Dolphins scored 5 in the inning taking their lead to 7-1 on their way to a 10-2 victory.
In game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader the Dolphins took to the field against the Eagles of Eastern Michigan University. The Eagles were able to strike for 2 runs in the first.
JU tied it up at 2 but were held scoreless for the rest of the game after that. Senior Melissa Morales plated the 2 runs on a single to left.
Eastern Michigan added 4 more runs to end with a 6-2 win over JU.
JU (6-8) gets another chance at those Eagles of Eastern Michigan when they travel to Jacksonville for a double header on Wednesday Feb. 29 starting @ 5p.m.

Softball Team Splits a Double-Header

Photo by Brett Durda

Jacksonville University Women’s Softball kicked off their Sunday double-header with 7-6 win against the University of South Carolina. JU struck for 8 hits and capitalized on three Gamecock errors on their way to victory.
Dolphins pitcher Sarah Sigrest went the distance allowing 6 runs on 8 hits while striking out 6. Center fielder Kayla Ouelette and second baseman Karson Tuck led the team offensively with 2 hits each.

Neither team could hold the lead throughout the game. JU and USC went back and forth all the way until the last inning.

JU took their first lead on the bottom of the third with 3 runs. Catcher Sarah Simon went deep to highlight the inning. Shortly after in the top of the fifth, the Gamecocks struck back for 2 runs of their own. Immediately after, JU responded with a 2 run double off the bat of freshman Short Stop Ashley Simon.

In the top of the sixth, South Carolina strikes back yet again to tie the game at 6 runs a piece. The Dolphins regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a sacrifice fly from Sarah Simon, plating Ouellet. JU then held on in the seventh to take the win.

After a short break, JU was back on the diamond to take on Florida International University. Runs were hard to come by on both ends in game two. The Dolphins lone run of the game came off the bat of Meagan Balding who went deep for a solo home run. JU was quiet for much of the game after that.

JU pitcher Dale Townsend took the loss despite her great effort on the mound. JU’s biggest chance came in the fifth. After a lead off strike out, their next two batters got on base. A wild pitch helped them advance to second and third with still only one out. The offense couldn’t pull through in the inning, leaving both runners stranded. JU went on to lose the game 3-1.

The Dolphins (4-7) will now head to Orlando on Friday, Feb. 24 to participate in the two day University of Central Florida Tournament.

Softball Team’s First Tournament of the Season

Photo by Brett Durda

The Jacksonville University women’s softball team hosted their first tournament of the season, battling the cold this weekend with limited success. The Dolphins won the first two games on Friday but could not carry the momentum of those wins to Saturday and Sunday ending the weekend with a 2-3 record.

In the first game played against the Buffalo Bulls, JU began with a four run first inning that gave them the lead that they held throughout the game.  Buffalo scored two runs in the third inning, but those were not enough to win the game.  The Dolphins in turn scored a run in the third inning, and then again in the sixth to end the game with the first win of the season.

University of North Carolina Greensboro proved to be no match for the Jacksonville Dolphins Friday evening as they dominated with the final score of 10-3 to be the second win of the night.  The Dolphins had a breakout second inning in which there were six hits, as well as two errors by UNCG, allowing JU to score a total of seven runs.  In the third inning, UNCG had a two-out rally, scoring three unearned runs, the only runs of the game.  The Dolphins added to their score in the fourth, sixth, and seventh inning to have a total of ten runs from the 14 hits.

After Friday night, the JU offense shut down and scored only three runs in three games while giving up ten.  Saturday night, JU started the game by scoring a run after two errors by the Saint Louis Defense, but the run was quickly matched by Saint Louis leaving the score tied going into the second inning.  The bottom of the second inning, the Saint Louis right fielder hit a home run giving the Billikens the lead and eventually the win.  The JU defense was able to hold the Saint Louis offense with no more runs, but JU was unable to score any runs themselves.

Against the Virginia Tech Hokies, the JU offense were only able to earn two runs, one from a home run in the third inning by the left fielder Jacey Warner and one after a string of base hits in the sixth.  Senior pitcher Sarah Sigrest, after being spot on the rest of the tournament, did not have her game on Saturday night.  Six Hokie players were hit by pitches and allowed three runs.  Due to defensive errors, four more runs were scored leaving the score 7-2.

The Sunday game against Saint Louis, their second of the weekend, was a heart-breaker that the Dolphins lost in the eighth inning after giving up only one run.  Sarah Sigrest pitched this game as well; however, had a much better outing.  Even after pitching 161 pitches the night before, Sigrest had a strong performance, striking out 11 and allowing one walk.  The only run of the game was scored in the eighth inning.  The Hokies began the inning with a runner on second base according to extra inning rules and executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third.  The run was able to score after a base hit by the first baseman.  After the same opportunity, the Dolphins were unable to score a run, losing the game 1-0.

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