No. 6 @FGCU_Softball Vies for Atlantic Sun Title
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
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FGCU (31-25-1)
at
Stetson (35-12)
5/7/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 158
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FGCU0000100130
Stetson000040X4111
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: OWEN (23-7) 7.031106
Loss: MORGAN (12-8) 6.0114410
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
ZGRABIK (FGCU) 301000
CARPENTER (FGCU) 301000
GARABEDIAN (FGCU) 311101
TENBROECK (STET) 413000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On the heels of another 30-win season, the FGCU softball team will compete at the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament this week as the no. 6 seed.  The double-elimination tournament features the league’s top six teams and is hosted by Lipscomb University at Draper Diamond.

As the no. 6 seed, the Eagles will face no. 3 Stetson on Wednesday at 3 p.m. CST to open the tournament.  With a win, the Green and Blue will play no. 2 Lipscomb on Thursday at 10 a.m., while a loss would drop FGCU to the consolation bracket and schedule a second game for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against the loser of the no. 4 Mercer/no. 5 Kennesaw State game.

The Eagles enter the tournament with an overall record of 31-24-1 and an Atlantic Sun mark of 14-13.  The team swept Northern Kentucky in the final three-game series of the season to improve to over .500 in conference and seal its 11th 30-win season in 12 years.

FGCU is the winner of one previous Atlantic Sun Conference Championship as the Eagles defeated Jacksonville, Stetson and Kennesaw State en route to the 2012 conference title.  The Eagles earned the university’s first-ever NCAA Division I tournament win over no. 5 Florida in that year’s NCAA Regional.

The Green and Blue

Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) has led the Eagles and the conference this season at the plate and currently tops the roster with a batting average of .433 to rank 23rd in the nation and first in the conference.  Carpenter holds a .974 fielding percentage in the outfield and leads the team with nine home runs and 50 RBI through 56 games.  Carpenter has also added 10 doubles and crossed the plate 43 times and ranks second in the conference with 110 total bases.  Carpenter is also ranked second in the conference in slugging percentage with a mark of .671.

Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) adds an average of .342 for FGCU with 50 hits in 146 at bats.  Zgrabik leads the team with 13 hits over the fence and has knocked in 42 runs.  Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) holds a batting average of .365 and ranks among the top 30 in the nation for runs per game and holds the top position in the conference and the nation with seven triples on the season. Barnes holds a batting average of .405 in conference games and has maintained a fielding percentage of .975 with 37 putouts and two assists against conference foes.

Offensively, FGCU has a combined average of .278 and has outscored its opponents, 231-196.

The FGCU pitching staff is led by junior Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe High School) as she maintains an ERA of 2.24 and holds a record of 12-7 in the circle.  Morgan has allowed just 42 earned runs through 131.0 innings of work. 

Freshman Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./Pace High School) has an ERA of 3.12 in 19 appearances.   She has started six games for the Eagles and has allowed 26 earned runs in 58.1 innings. She picked up her second save of the season last weekend at NKU.

The pitching staff holds a collective ERA of 3.06 and has struck out 145 batters and held opponents to a batting average of just .278.

THE COMPETITION

Stetson is led by junior infielder Demi Meza who has hit .355 this season with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.  Rookie Jessie Tenbroeck adds an average of .342 with a team-high 51 hits and has stolen 27 bases on 34 attempts this season, while three others add batting averages over .315.

Senior Meredith Owen contributes heavily to the team offensively and defensively.  In the circle, Owen holds a record of 22-7 with a league-best ERA of 0.90.  She has struck out 159 batters in 179.2 innings with just 23 earned runs and 24 walks.  Offensively, Owen holds an average of .333 with 44 hits in 132 at bats, including nine doubles and a team-best 13 home runs.

Collectively, the Hatters have outscored opponents 254-111 this season and maintain a team batting average of .299, while holding opponents to a mark of .223 in 46 games.  Stetson pitchers hold a combined ERA of 1.89.

Head coach Frank Griffin is in his 18th season at Stetson and has won 586 games with the Hatters.

In FGCU’s six-year history in the Atlantic Sun, the Eagles hold a slight advantage with nine wins and seven losses to the Hatters.  This season, Stetson swept the Eagles early in the conference season with three wins in DeLand. 

During the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, the Eagles faced Stetson in the 3/6 matchup to begin the tournament.  In a high-scoring affair, the Hatters upset the no. 3 Eagles with a 14-6 win. Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep High School) led the Eagles in the loss with a two-run homer in the fifth inning, with Carpenter also adding an RBI with a triple in the first inning.

All games at the Atlantic Sun Championship can be viewed live on ASun.TV with live stats available through LipscombSports.com.  In game updates can be found via Twitter (@FGCUSoftball).  Full results and recaps will be available at FGCUAthletics.com and at the Atlantic Sun Championship headquarter page.

FULL 2014 ATLANTIC SUN SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Wednesday, May 7
Game 1: no. 6 FGCU v. no. 3 Stetson 3 p.m.
Game 2: no. 5 Kennesaw State v. no. 4 Mercer 5:30 p.m. 

Thursday, May 8
Game 3: no. 2 Lipscomb v. winner of game 1 10 a.m.
Game 4: no. 1 USC Upstate v. winner of game 2 12:30 p.m.
Game 5: loser of game 1 v. loser of game 2 3 p.m.
Game 6: loser of game 3 v. loser of game 4 5:30 p.m. 

Friday, May 9
Game 7: winner of game 4 v. winner of game 3 12:30 p.m.
Game 8: winner of game 5 v. winner of game 6 3 p.m.
Game 9: loser of game 7 v. winner of game 8 5:30 p.m. 

Saturday, May 10
Game 10 (Championship): winner of game 7 v. winner of game 9 12 p.m.
Game 11 (if necessary): winner game 10 v. loser of game 10 2:30 p.m.