National Champs Shutout Dolphins

Photo by Brian Robotham
Photo by Brian Robotham

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University's softball team visited Florida, the two-time reigning national champions, for a doubleheader Wednesday, and were shutout in both outings, 6-0 and 10-0. 

"We gave Florida way too many chances today," said Head Coach Jennifer Steele. "In the second game, we couldn't get a stop when we needed to. We were out of position a lot, and we have a lot of defensive things that we need to work through.

"With that being said, even though we only got one hit, offensively, I still liked our approach at the plate. They have a really good pitching staff, and we went down swinging. Our aggression at the plate will match up well with our conference opponents, but we have a lot to figure out defensively." 

Jacksonville spoiled the Gators' debut at the plate with a three up, three down effort. After a pair of ground outs and a strikeout, the inning marked the first time this season UF was held scoreless after one. 

Victoria Brown went on to limit Florida hitless through two innings before allowing four in the third. The Gators took a 4-0 advantage in the frame, and tacked on another run in the fourth.  

Jacksonville escaped a no-out bases loaded jam with minimal damage, just one run, in the sixth. Shortstop Danielle Baker came in clutch with a play at the plate, Sable Lee caught a fly out in center field and catcher Brooke Smith caught a runner stealing third base.

Aleshia Ocasio tossed a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk. Brown (1-1) saw action in 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits.

"The biggest positive [from game one] was that we finally felt like we belonged," said Steele. "We didn't score any runs or get any hits, but I think Florida found the barrel maybe once.

"A lot of their hits were poked through and off the end of the bat, so that felt really good. We were able to hang with them physically but we have to get better at not giving up that many free passes."

UF's scoring run continued in game two with three runs on three hits in the first inning. It stretched its lead to seven unanswered in the second.

Kristen Griffith recorded the Dolphins' lone hit of the day on an infield single in the top of the third.

Taylor Rossman received the loss, after pitching 1.2 innings, allowing six runs, five earned. Paige Curtis came on in relief, and conceded three earned runs on six hits.

Jacksonville returns to the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex for the Dolphin Invitational, a three-day five-field tournament beginning Friday. First pitch against Pittsburg is set for 4:30 p.m.