JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the second time during its season-opening weekend, extra innings were needed to determine the outcome for Jacksonville University softball. Unfortunately, the Dolphins were unable to fend off Jacksonville State's rally and fell 8-7 in eight innings on Sunday afternoon at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball Complex to finish up the River City Leadoff.
After the Gamecocks scored two runs in the top of the first inning, the Dolphins answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the second inning in order to take a 5-2 lead.
JSU made a comeback in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs to take a two-run lead. JU responded once again with Danielle Baker and Allie McCourt scoring in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 7-7.
Neither team scored in the seventh, which invoked the extra inning and the international tiebreaker rule. The Gamecocks scored in the top of the eighth. The Dolphins threatened in the bottom half, but were unable to get any runners home.
McCourt and Baker each scored three runs, making up six of the Dolphins' seven runs. Heather Roberts scored the other run.
JSU pitcher Faith Sims was the winning pitcher. JU pitcher Seana Mora received the loss and gave up one earned run off of three hits in 3.0 innings.
"The difference was really in the sixth inning," said head coach Erica Ayers. "We're really happy with the way the offense fought, and how the pitching staff got us back up and gave us a chance to win. We love our fight and we believe in our kids. We did a lot of good things this first weekend and we'll learn from the mistakes we made. The season is a marathon, not a sprint."
The Dolphins host their second tournament next weekend. The Dolphin Invitational begins on Friday, Feb. 16. JU plays Texas-Arlington at 3:30 p.m., and Canisius at 6 p.m. on Day One.