Jacksonville Drops Pair to UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—The JU softball lost both games of a doubleheader to cross-town rival UNF on Saturday at the JU softball complex.  The Ospreys took game one 3-1, followed by a 6-1 victory in game two. 

A three-run fourth inning by UNF (38-13, 16-6) proved to be the difference in game one.

Victoria Brown (9-9) made the start for the Dolphins (30-21, 11-14 A-Sun) on the mound and ran into trouble early.

A single and a double to start off the game gave UNF runners on second and third with no outs.  Brown recovered to get the next two batters out before walking a UNF batter to give the Ospreys the bases loaded with two outs.  Brown would escape unscathed however as she was able to get the next batter to foul out to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Brown led off with a monster solo home run that cleared the left field fence by 30 feet to give JU the early 1-0 lead. 

The score would remain unchanged until the fourth inning when the Ospreys were able to get to Brown and plate their first runs of the game. 

A single, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt gave UNF runners on second and third with one out.  After a groundout, a single to center scored the two UNF base runners and gave them a 2-1 lead.  After another walk, a double to left center scored the runner from second and put UNF up 3-1.  Brown’s day in the circle was over as Taylor Rossman was brought on in relief.  She immediately stopped the bleeding getting the batter to pop out for the third out with her only pitch of the inning. 

The Dolphins couldn’t manage to produce a base runner in the fourth or fifth, but made some noise in the bottom of the sixth.

Karson Tuck started the inning off by reaching first base on a throwing error by the UNF shortstop.  Ashley Simon followed with a single to give JU runners on first and second with no outs.  Morgan Kibler then laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners.  The Dolphins however could not make the Ospreys pay as a pop out and ground out ended the inning and any chance of a JU comeback.

During the break between the two games, the Dolphins recognized the three seniors on the team that were playing in their final home series of their JU careers.  Kibler, Sarah Simon, and Dale Tillman will leave JU as the winnigiest class in program history, having been a part of 138 wins over the last four years. 

Game two played out very similar to game one.

The Ospreys were able to load the bases in the top of the first against Tillman (8-3), but just like Brown in game one, Tillman was able to escape out of the jam with not harm done. 

UNF would however strike first this game, scoring the game’s first two runs in the top of the third. 

A sacrifice fly and a bases loaded groundout gave UNF the 2-0 lead.

JU responded with its only run and hits of the game in the bottom half of the inning.

After two ground outs to start the inning, Brown singled up the middle.  Codi Kelly followed with a single of her own to right field that allowed Brown to advance to third.  Sarah Simon then singled to right to bring in Brown for the run.  The Dolphins just missed adding to their total as Tuck singled, but Kelly was tagged out on the play trying to score from second. 

The Ospreys added an unearned run in the fourth before sealing the win with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth. 

The two losses brought the JU losing streak up to 11.  The Dolphins will look to snap that streak and end the regular season on a positive note when the two teams return for Sunday’s series finale at 1 p.m.