Dolphins sweep Bucs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.—The JU softball team swept the ETSU Buccaneers in the series opening doubleheader between the two teams on Saturday at Betty Basler Field.  The Dolphins blanked the Bucs 4-0 in game one followed by a 9-8 victory in game two.

Freshman pitcher Cecile Gomez (6-0) pitched a complete game for the Dolphins in game one allowing just three hits and only one walk over the seven innings of work.  She only allowed one base runner to reach after the fourth inning.

The Dolphins did not get on the board in game one until the top of the third inning when second baseman Codi Kelly hit her second home run of the season to put JU up 1-0. 

The one run lead would have sufficed with Gomez’ dominance on the mound, but the Dolphins would go on to add runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.

In the top of the sixth, senior catcher Sarah Simon blasted her team leading ninth home run of the left field fence to put JU up 3-0. 

The Dolphin scoring was capped off in the seventh when senior Morgan Kibler reached on a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball.  She was able to come around and score from second after the ETSU short stop made a throwing error on a play at first base.

Game two of the doubleheader was much different than the first as the two teams combined to record 23 hits and 17 runs.

The Bucs jumped on freshman pitcher Victoria Brown early as a three run home run gave ETSU the 3-0 lead after one inning. 

The Dolphins would quickly respond with five runs in the top of the second. 

JU combined singles by Kibler and left fielder Jacey Warner as well as three walks, a wild pitch, and an error to regain the lead 5-3.

After letting the first two batters in the second reach safely, Brown was moved to center and senior Dale Tillman (4-2) came on in relief and got JU out of the inning unscathed.

Neither team could manage a run in the third, but that changed in the top of the fourth. 

Centerfielder Sable Lee led off the inning with a single followed by a walk by Kibler.  After a passed ball that moved the runners to second and third, Warner stepped up and smacked a double to right center, scoring Lee and Kibler.  After a single moved Warner to third, Simon hit a sacrifice fly to center that allowed her to score and put the Dolphins up 8-3.

ETSU strung together three hits in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 8-4.

In the top of the sixth JU was able to get the run back when third baseman Ashley Simon’s single to right field brought home Brown to put JU up 9-4. 

The Bucs were done fighting however as they used a big sixth inning to close the gap.

After a single and a walk, the Bucs hit another three run homerun, this time off Tillman to cut the JU lead down to just two heading into the seventh. 

After JU could not add to its lead in the top half of the inning, ETSU had to score at least two runs to extend the game and they almost did just that.

Tillman retired the first two batters of the inning with relative ease inducing a fly out to center and a strikeout.  The third batter of the inning however hit a solo home run over the left field wall to slice the Dolphin lead in half bringing the score to 9-8.  This brought Gomez back into the game looking for the one out save to get the doubleheader sweep.  The next two ETSU batters reached base after being hit by a pitch and single to give the Bucs runners on first and second with two outs.  Gomez recovered to slam the door shut on ETSU striking out the next batter to end the game and earn her fourth save of the season. 

The Dolphins (18-8, 4-1 A-Sun) and Bucs (7-14, 0-5 A-Sun) return to action tomorrow for the series finale set for 1 p.m.