Dolphins Drop a Pair of 10 Inning Games

FORT MYERS, Fla.—The JU softball team was edged in extra innings twice on Saturday in a doubleheader loss to Florida Gulf Coast.  JU lost the pair of 10 inning games 10-9 and 6-5.

For the fifth consecutive game against FGCU, the Dolphins have carried a lead into what could have been the final half inning of play and for the fifth time in a row, JU has come out with a loss. 

The scoring in game one started in the first inning and did not let up the whole game.

The Dolphins (30-14, 11-7 A-Sun) took an early 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI groundout by Ashley Simon and a RBI single from Karson Tuck. 

The Eagles (29-15, 10-6 A-Sun) countered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning and knocked starting pitcher Cecile Gomez out of the game after just two-thirds of an inning.

Senior Dale Tillman came on in the relief and got the Dolphins out of the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout. 

FGCU took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second after a RBI single.

JU recaptured the lead in the following top half of the inning thanks to a two run home run from senior Sarah Simon. 

The lead would be short lived however as the Eagles countered with their own two run home run in the bottom of the third to take a 5-4 lead.

The Dolphins exploded in the fifth for three runs and five hits. 

Tuck knocked in two more runs off of a single up the middle while Morgan Kibler drew a bases loaded walk. 

With a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, it looked as if the Dolphins were well on their way to victory, but the Eagles did not give up.

An RBI triple and a sacrifice fly quickly tied the game at seven and sent the game into extra innings.

Freshman Victoria Brown sent a pitch over the left field fence to score two runs in the top of the eighth to once again give JU a two run lead heading into the potential last half inning of play.

Just like in the seventh, the Eagles were able to produce the necessary two runs to extend the game. 

FGCU tied things up at 9-9 thanks to a two run home run off of Tillman.  Her day was over as Dolphin head coach Ali Higgs decided to bring on freshman Taylor Rossman (5-7) in relief.

Neither team could score in the ninth sending the game into the 10th inning.  The teams would now start the inning with a runner placed on second base.

The Dolphins could not manufacture a run in the top half of the inning, sending it to the bottom and putting the pressure on the defense to hold.

A wild pitch allowed the FGCU runner to advance to third and following a walk, the Eagles hit a fly ball to left field that was deep enough to allow the runner to tag up and score the winning run. 

Game two played out nearly identical to game one.

The Dolphins once again struck first in the top of the first thanks to a Tuck RBI single.

FGCU evened things up in the bottom of the first with a triple and a groundout to score a run off of Brown who made the game two start for JU.

Jacksonville retook the lead in the second inning when Brown singled to score Kibler from second base.

The game would remain 2-1 in JU’s favor until the bottom of the fourth inning when FGCU would tie things up off of an RBI single.

Surprisingly, neither team would score the next three innings, requiring extra innings yet again. 

Just like in game one, the Dolphins exploded in the top of the eighth inning, appearing to score the game-winning runs. 

A bases loaded RBI single from Codi Kelly and a double by Sarah Simon gave JU a three run advantage heading into the bottom half of the inning.

After allowing a double and hitting a batter, Brown’s day was done as Rossman was brought on in relief just like in the first game.

The Eagles managed a single to load the bases with no outs.  After a groundout scored a run, a double to left field allowed two runs to score to tie things up at 5-5.

As both teams were held scoreless in the ninth, the game once again moved into the 10th and brought the tiebreaker rule into play. 

The Dolphins could not take advantage of the runner at second and had to hope it could hold the Eagles scoreless in the bottom half of the inning.

A sacrifice bunt moved the FGCU runner over to third. After a shallow fly out, a single through the left side of the infield was what the Eagles needed to score the winning run and steal another game from the Dolphins.

JU will look to rebound from the heartbreaking losses tomorrow when they return for the series finale scheduled for 1 p.m.