JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University softball split on Sunday against Kennesaw State, falling 8-3 in the first game before winning the second contest 4-3 in extra innings on Victoria Brown’s walk-off homer.
Jacksonville stands 13-20 overall and 4-9 in the Atlantic Sun, while Kennesaw State holds an 18-16, 7-4 record, respectively.
The Fins recorded four home runs on nine hits.
GAME 1: KENNESAW STATE 8, JACKSONVILLE 3
KSU tallied eight runs on 14 hits while Jacksonville recorded three on four and one error.
KSU opened the game in the top of the third inning with two runs on two hits before JU earned a quick 3-2 advantage. Brown loaded the bases before tossing three balls at Angie Dascoli to send her to first base and allow Sikes to score from third base. In the following at-bat, Taylor Denton touched home from third base on Megan Veringa’s RBI ground-out.
In the bottom of the frame, JU answered with three runs on four hits for a 3-2 lead. Brown evened the game 2-all with a two-run home run to right center while Charli Bradshaw knocked out her second home run of the season to left field.
However, JU’s advantage didn’t last as KSU responded in the top of the fifth inning with five runs on six hits for a 7-3 lead. With bases loaded after three straight singles, Veringa hit a three-run double to left center that scored Denton, Courtney Sutter and pinch runner Logan Viers. Veringa then scored from third base on Brooke Smith’s throwing error while Kara Chambers scored on Carly Van Auken’s RBI single to right field.
KSU added one insurance run on two hits in the top of the seventh inning when Sikes hit an RBI single to right that scored Chambers from third base.
Smith was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to open the frame, but the Dolphins weren’t able to capitalize and KSU won 8-3.
In the circle, KSU’s Paige Mathews (3-6) won after 4.0 innings of relief, allowing zero hits, zero runs and zero walks. Brown (6-8) took the loss after 4.2 innings of relief, allowing seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits and two walks. Brown struck out one batter.
GAME TWO: JACKSONVILLE 4, KENNESAW STATE 3 (8 INNINGS)
Brown hit her second home run of the day and sixth on the season when it counted most, bombing the long ball to deep right in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel Jacksonville to its 4-3 extra-inning victory.
Jacksonville earned four runs on five hits and one error while KSU tallied three runs on six hits.
Karson Tuck began the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with a solo shot, Bradshaw then followed with a hopper past KSU’s short stop, stole second on a wild pitch, advanced to third base on Smith’s ground out and scored on Lexie Ballard’s RBI single to right field. Codi Kelly followed with an RBI single to shallow right field that scored Ballard from second base for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, however, KSU earned three runs on three hits to tie the contest 3-all. Sutter smacked an RBI double to center field that scored Denton from second base while Dascoli hit a two-run homer to center field.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Ballard grounded out to third base, pinch hitter Miranda Fleming lined out to short, and Kelly flied out to left field to force the extra innings, where Brown recorded the walk-off victory.
Mathews (3-7) allowed four runs (four earned) on five hits and one walk in 4.0 innings to start. Taylor Rossman (2-7) earned the win, striking out four, walking one and allowing two hits in 6.0 innings of relief.
Jacksonville will conclude its series against Kennesaw State on Monday at 3 p.m.