The Jacksonville Dolphins are looking to make a statement in this year’s Atlantic Sun Championship and Sarah Sigrest is looking to prove she has what it takes to take the Dolphins back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Dolphins are one step closer to that with a 2-1 win over Lipscomb. The match up was a rematch of the 2011 championship final where Jacksonville upended the 2010 A-Sun Softball Champions.
“It’s just exciting to be back and the fact that we were playing Lipscomb - it was emotional. Especially since we beat them last year and everyone had high nerves,” Jacksonville’s Sarah Sigrest said. “For us to win it was huge just to get the first game under your belt.”
Last season the Dolphins posted an 18-2 A-Sun record en route to claiming the conference title, but this season the Dolphins faltered a bit in A-Sun play putting up a 10-8 record.
“Last year we had a great season - and I did to - and this year there was pressure,” said the senior pitcher. “You have a target on your back to win so that was huge. “
Sigrest said she felt immense pressure to perform at the level she did last year. However, she says the goal of any team is to have a good regular season, but more importantly, to have an even better postseason.
“I think it is what you can do in the postseason, “ Sigrest said. “I’m not proud of what I did this season, but I know that this is what matters.”
This season Sigrest finished the regular season with a 2.06 with 199 batters struck out. Last season, she posted a 1.10 ERA with 208 strikeouts. Sigrest also picked up the school’s first ever win in the NCAA tournament when the Dolphins downed Bethune-Cookman in the tournament. It was the two losses to defending champion UCLA that knocked the Dolphins out of the tournament.
In the Dolphins locker room the group has a saying, “It’s not your last jelly bean on a Saturday,” which means in effect that it isn’t all over. The team has followed this motto all season.
The Dolphins and Sigrest are looking to get back to the big stage, but before they can do that they need to finish out the conference tournament. Their next game will be against the top-seeded FGCU Eagles tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
“I’m a postseason player. I’m back to win. I want to win,” Sigrest said. “I like how it felt last year and I think that we got it stolen from us this year and I think we can come back and win it again.”
For Sarah Sigrest and the Jacksonville Dolphins, it isn’t their last jelly bean on a Saturday.