Softball Defeat Gives Rise to Victory

The Navigator

The Jacksonville University Softball team dropped its first doubleheader of the season against Lipscomb University and then battled back as they won their next one against Belmont this past weekend.

In the first game Friday, April 8, Lipscomb hit two clutch home runs to defeat the Dolphins in Atlantic Sun Conference play. The game ended their 10-game winning streak and gave them their first defeat in conference play despite having 12 runners in that game.

The Lady Bison’s Whitney Kiihnl fanned 11 batters and scattered six hits in seven frames. Junior Sarah Sigrest recorded the game one loss and gave up four runs from three but did have six strikeouts in six innings. Offensively for the Fins, Sophomore Olivia Kline got two hits and junior Kayla Ouellet registered one hit as well.

In the second game Kiihnl closed to give them the win and gave a two-shutout inning performance after Ali Watson struck out five batters in five scoreless innings. Kline allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings that gave her the loss for game two.

The Fins head coach Amanda Lehotak felt that her team left opportunities out there on the diamond.

“This just wasn’t our night,” Lehotak said. “We definitely had our chances, but were not able to capitalize on any of them. Lipscomb made us pay for our mistakes. We have to regroup and get ready to battle again tomorrow.”

Two clutch homeruns helped Lipscomb win the game. The two victories for Lipscomb gives them an overall record of 20-14 and a 7-1 A-Sun conference record while leaving JU 28-14 and 8-2.

The following day, Saturday, JU made the most of their runs sweeping Belmont in their doubleheader, 4-0 and 13-0 in the A-Sun conference play.

The two wins brought JU up to 30-14 and 10-2 while Belmont is now 8-29 and 1-9. The Fins built registered their sweep off momentum. In the first game they had four runs off of 11 hits and the second game recorded 13 runs from 13 hits.

Sigrest was awarded with the game-one victory allowing only three hits and sitting down four batters in seven innings. The game two win went to Kline when she scattered six hits over six innings and struck out four batters.

JU felt they needed a moral boost like this after losing two important conference games in the previously doubleheader.

“This is exactly what we needed,” Lehotak said. “I wanted us to be more aggressive and take advantage of our opportunities better than we did yesterday, which we did each game. Everyone contributed to the win and we have to good efforts in the circle. We need to use more days like this during the final part of the schedule.”

Junior Amanda Schmidt, Sophomore Sarah Simon and Kline all accounted for 15 of JU’s 17 runs that day.

The Dolphins are scheduled to return to action Wednesday with one game against Florida A&M located in Tallahassee, Fla. at 6 p.m.