Jacksonville, Fla. - A tough season for the Stetson softball team (19-31, 4-16 Atlantic Sun) ground to a halt Friday evening at Jacksonville with 8-0 and 2-1 losses to the host Dolphins (40-14, 18-2 A-Sun). JU will enter next weekend's A-Sun tournament as the #1 seed after winning the regular season championship. Senior first baseman Katelyn Perna (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had two hits, including a double and an RBI single, in her final appearance in a Stetson uniform.
The first game was a pitcher's duel between JU ace Sarah Sigrest and Stetson sophomore Courtney Gunby (Bishop, Ga.) for the first three and a half innings as the game was scoreless entering the bottom of the fourth. The Dolphins would take advantage of sloppy defense by the Hatters in that frame to score six runs, five of them unearned, to salt the game away. Jacksonville finished Stetson off via the eight-run rule in the bottom of the fifth.
A Jordan Cleghorn (Ball Ground, Ga.) double and Chelsey Trotto (Lantana, Fla.) single and stolen base was all the offense the Hatters could muster against Sigrest, who won for the 22nd time in 2011. Trotto's steal was her 23rd of the season.
Perna gave Stetson a 1-0 lead in the top of the first in Game 2 with a two-out RBI single off starter Olivia Kline that scored freshman center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.). Morello had singled and stolen second (her 28th swipe of the year, the highest total by a Hatter freshman in 11 seasons) to lead off the game.
Sigrest would relieve Kline in the third and strike out nine in six one-hit innings to earn the win for JU; catcher Sarah Simon hit a game-tying solo home run in the third while shortstop Katie Kelly delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to win it for the Dolphins in extra innings.
Freshman pitcher Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.), who had struck out Kline with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning, was tagged with the loss after Kelly's home run; she finished the year with a 2.46 ERA and 7-14 record.
Stetson is slated to return seven starters for 2012 and will add freshmen Courtney Brandt (Pasco, Fla.), Kandi Kuder (Newbury Park, Calif.), Demi Meza (Oxnard, Calif.) and Alison Sutherlin (Huntsville, Ala.)