FORT MYERS, FLA. - The No. 4 Kennesaw State Owls avoided elimination in the 2016 ASUN Softball Championship by virtue of a 4-0 shutout vs. the No. 6 Jacksonville Dolphins Thursday evening. Logan Viers got the start for the third straight postseason contest for KSU, earning her 14th win of the season as the Owls shutout JU, while notching RBI's on a pair of singles and a pair of doubles.
Kennesaw State was able to jump in front early, scoring two runs in the top of the first on Jacksonville's Victoria Brown. Kara Chambers led things off with a walk, before advancing to second on a groundout from Taylor Denton. The senior then moved to third on an illegal pitch before senior Megan Veringa doubled to right center, scoring Chambers. Rachel Dennis then returned the favor for Veringa, scoring her from second after a single to left field.
Viers was able to stifle Jacksonville in the top half of the second after a leadoff walk, which allowed the Owls to go to work on offense where they would score two additional runs in the bottom half of the frame. Hillary Kartman led things off with a double to right center after a seven-pitch at-bat. Missy Perkowski would fly out before Noelle Winkles doubled herself down the right field line, scoring pinch runner Katie Cannington. Paige Curtis would enter the game in relief for the Dolphins with Winkles on third and Denton would single up the middle, scoring what would be the final run of the night for the Owls.
Viers would last two more innings for Kennesaw State, allowing zero runs, before Morgan Sikes would enter in relief. Things went smoothly for both teams, as just one hit was allowed in the fifth and sixth frames combined. The Dolphins entered the seventh with one final chance to extend their season.
Sable Lee was able to lead things off by reaching first base on a KSU fielding error, and Adrienne Ramsay would follow suit, finding herself on first after yet another Owl miscue. With Jacksonville's two most powerful hitters on deck in Danielle Baker and Victoria Brown, Sikes settled down, inducing two fly outs, one to left and one to center. Emily Sanchez drew a six-pitch walk to load the bases, putting the pressure on Dolphin hero in game one Heather Roberts. The sophomore hit it right to the shortstop who got the easy out at second to end the game and seal the Kennesaw State victory.
The Owls advance to face No. 3 Stetson in yet another elimination game on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m., live on ESPN3. The winner of that contest will face the loser of No. 1 FGCU and No. 2 USC Upstate later at 5 p.m.
Kennesaw State vs. Jacksonville Softball Championship Game Notes
- Kennesaw State improves to 3-1 vs. the Dolphins in 2016 as the two squads met in the first ASUN regular season series of the year. The Owls outscored JU 16-6 in four games.
- The Owls have no won multiple postseason contests for the first time since 2012 when Kennesaw State advanced to the ASUN Championship Final.
- Roberts ends her ASUN Championship appearance for the Dolphins after recording two home runs in three games, the most of any team this year.
- Jacksonville ends its season at 28-30 after earning its first postseason win since 2012 in game one of this season's ASUN Softball Championship.