FGCU Drops Two to Lipscomb as Win Streak Comes to an End
|Win: SANDERS (10-6)||6.1||3||3||3||5||4|
|Loss: MORGAN (12-6)||7.0||10||5||5||3||5|
|Win: PARKER (5-8)||7.0||6||1||1||3||5|
|Loss: JOSIE (6-2)||7.0||7||6||3||2||2|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Entering the day with a nine-game win streak, the FGCU softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader against A-Sun foe Lipscomb on Friday night at the FGCU Softball Complex. After dropping game one 5-3, the Green and Blue fell in the second game 6-1.
The Eagles now sit at 24-11 overall this season with a 5-2 A-Sun record with FGCU having dropped its first conference contest of the season. The two-game sweep has Lipscomb with a 16-16 mark on the year and 5-6 in A-Sun contests. The loss in game one snapped an 11-game win streak at the FGCU Softball Complex for the Green and Blue. The two Lipscomb wins now has the all-time series tied at 6-6 through 12 meetings.
In the first game of the day, starting pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) got two Lipscomb batters to go down swinging in the top of the first to keep runners off the base paths early on.
2013 A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) got a pitch to hit from the Lipscomb starter and drove it off the scoreboard in left field to make it 1-0 Eagles in the bottom of the first.
The Bisons would capitalize on a leadoff double in the top half of the third inning. Morgan would get a groundout to third and short to record two outs, but the balls put in play were enough to bring across a run and equalize the score at 1-1.
With runners on first and second in the top of the fourth, Morgan got two important outs courtesy of a strikeout and a groundout to retire the side and keep the game tied heading into the bottom of the inning.
After a leadoff double to start the fifth, Lipscomb used a triple to the left field wall to bring across a runner from second and go up 2-1 to take its first lead of the game.
Zgrabik, leading off the bottom of the sixth, took an inside pitch with a 3-2 count and lined it down the left field line and over the fence for her second home run of the day, both of which with no runners on, to tie the game at 2-2. Senior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) followed Zgrabik with a double to center field with no outs in the inning. With Fernandez having advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) drove a ball high to left field that was enough to bring Fernandez home on a sacrifice fly, putting FGCU back in the lead, 3-2 at the end of six innings.
With their backs against the wall in the top of the seventh, the Bisons were able to bring across a game-tying run. Lipscomb was not done however as they would bring across two more on a base hit and after advancing on the throw, held a 5-3 advantage over FGCU.
Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) reached base on a walk to start the bottom of the seventh and with one out, Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) reached on a fielding error to place Eagle runners on first and second base with Zgrabik coming to the plate. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and after Lipscomb intentionally walked Zgrabik, the bases were loaded with one out. The Green and Blue were able to bring across any runs to extend the game and FGCU fell 5-3 to Lipscomb in the first game of the twin billing.
Junior Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) got the start inside the circle for the Eagles in game two against the Bisons and Josie found success against Lipscomb hitters as she only allowed one hit through the game’s first five innings.
FGCU did not make much noise offensively in the second game until the contest turned to the bottom of the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs for Fernandez to create a golden scoring opportunity for the Eagles. A base hit through the right side brought across Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) for the first run in game two to put FGCU up 1-0 through three innings.
Lipscomb would display its resiliency in the top of the sixth by placing five runners on base in a multitude of ways to bring across two runs, putting the Bisons ahead 2-1. With runners at the corners and one out, a Lipscomb batter fouled a ball back that was snagged out of mid-air behind the plate before firing to first to get an inning ending double play.
In the top of the seventh, the visiting Bisons would add to their lead. Lipscomb brought across its first run of the inning from third with other runners on to give themselves a multiple-run advantage. A two-run triple to right center and a sacrifice fly out to right would plate three more runs, stretching the score to 6-1 in favor of the visitors.
FGCU placed a runner on first, but the Eagles were unable to create any more of a scoring threat as the Green and Blue fell to Lipscomb 6-1 in the second game of the day’s doubleheader.
FGCU will complete its three-game set against the Bisons on Saturday, March 30 with first pitch set for 12 p.m. from the FGCU Softball Complex. The Green and Blue will look to win the contest to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Bisons.
For tickets, visit www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets online or call the FGCU ticket office at 239-590-7145. Tickets are also available for purchase upon entrance to the FGCU Softball Complex.
In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
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