Jacksonville Sports Day

JU Dolphins Sweep Racers in a Pair of Low-Scoring Affairs

AUBURN, Ala. – Getting an early start for the second day in a row, the Jacksonville University softball team wrapped up play at the Auburn Tiger Invite Saturday, as they faced Murray State University in doubleheader action.

In a day dominated by pitching on both sides, the Dolphins (7-5) were able to score when they needed to in each game and downed the Racers (2-11) by scores of 2-0 and 1-0.

The first game of the day was a classic pitcher’s duel, as both sides were held in check at the plate in the early going. Murray State got a runner to third in the opening half inning following a double and a passed ball but JU starter Alyssa Bilodeau dashed any hopes the Racers had of scoring the first run of the game, inducing a groundout to end the frame.

Jacksonville had a pair of one-out baserunners in their first at-bats of the day but were unable to score after lining into a double play to end the first.

Things remained mostly quiet until the fourth inning, when the Racers threatened once more to get on the board. After the first two batters reached via hit by pitch and walk, a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one away in the inning. Once more, Bilodeau denied Murray State, striking out the next two batters to keep things scoreless.

Jacksonville carried that momentum into their next at bats in the bottom of the inning, as Samantha Poehlman and Hannah Roberts reached base on back-to-back singles to set the table.

After a flyout allowed Poehlman to move up to third, Allison Bratek loaded the bases with an infield single. With the bases full of Dolphins, Madison Kennedy scored Poehlman with an RBI groundout to third to give JU the lead.

The Dolphins tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, again courtesy of Kennedy. After Kailey Harrigan and Allison Bratek reach base with one away, the junior doubled to right center to bring Karrigan around from second to make it 2-0.

Bilodeau (3-4) came back out to work the seventh and sat down Murray State in order to finish off a one-hit shutout highlighted by eight strikeouts.

Game two played out much like game one, as another pitcher’s duel developed as Jacksonville and Murray State were able to muster just one hit each through the first four innings of play.

The difference in the game came in the fifth inning off the bat of JU’s Madison Kennedy, when she turned around the first pitch for a solo homerun to left field with one gone in the inning.

Seana Mora (2-0) nearly matched Bilodeau’s performance in game one, going the distance as she posted a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.

The Dolphins return to Jacksonville next weekend to host the JU/UNF Spring Break Challenge starting Friday March 5 against Georgia State at 5 PM and Buffalo at 7:30 PM at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball complex.

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