2/16/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 415
|Loss: Alissa Schoelkopf
2/16/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 437
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A day after coming up short against 2012 National Champion Alabama in front of a crowd of 1,109 in a 2-1 loss, FGCU returned to the field for two games and in winning both, the FGCU softball team improved to 4-2 on the season on Saturday at the FGCU Softball Complex.
"Today we were never rreally in any kind of comfort zone, but I have to give our team a lot of credit," said head coach David Deiros. "We played very well, we were efficient and they got ourselves in trouble all day long, but we were able to get ourselves out and that is the credit of a good team."
Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) got the start against Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon after picking up her first save of the season in a relief effort against Wichita State on Friday night.
Senior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./N. Fort Myers HS) started off the top of the third with a double to left center and courtesy of a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch, Fernandez crossed the plate to score the first run of the game and put FGCU on top 1-0.
With the bases loaded and just one away in the bottom of the fourth inning, Josie retired two straight Mountaineers via fly out and strikeout to keep Appalachian State from taking the lead after the knotted the game at one.
Fernandez stepped back into the batter’s box to lead off the top of the fifth and did so in style as she sent a rocket over the right field fence for a solo homerun and to give FGCU a 2-1. Both teams continued to be active on the base paths, but the Eagles were more successful in doing so as Zgrabik sent a ball screaming over the wall to bring in three more and give FGCU an 5-1 advantage.
Junior transfer Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) entered in relief for Josie when Appalachian State began to threaten. Despite two more Mountaineers scoing, Owen escaped danger to keep FGCU in the lead, 5-3.
The Eagles capitalized on an opportunity to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh when a Kayla Gabel single up the middle to drove in the sixth FGCU run of the ball game and give FGCU a 6-3 lead with the result being the third victory of the season for the Green and Blue.
Game two of the day for FGCU saw the host Eagles jump out from the start by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first after stringing together a multitude of hits, capped off by a bases clearing double from Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) who drove in three runs on the play. FGCU added another run to their total and headed to the bottom of the first up 4-0 on Southern Illinois.
The Green and Blue tallied extra runs in the fourth and fifth innings with some small ball in the fourth and a Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City HS) triple followed by a Zgrabik double in the fifth to give FGCU a 6-0 cushion that would stand until the final out in the seventh.
Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) got the start in the circle against the Salukis and in a complete game shutout in which she only gave up four hits, Morgan improved to 2-1 on the 2013 season.
FGCU returns to action at the FGCU Softball Complex on Sunday, Feb. 17 as they bring the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament to a close on day three of the event. The Eagles will face 2012 Southern Conference Champions Georgia Southern on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. All-day passes are still available for Sunday with tickets costing $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12.
For information on the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament, including game times and participating teams, visit the Tournament Central page (http://www.fgcuathletics.com/softball/2013LaQuintaTourney/). To purchase tickets for the final day of the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament, call 239-590-7145 for more information.
LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament Day Two Results
Saturday, February 16
Southern Illinois def. Georgia Southern – 10-1
Alabama def. Wichita State – 2-0
FGCU def. Appalachian State – 6-3
Alabama def. Georgia Southern – 2-1 (9)
FGCU def. Southern Illinois – 6-0
Wichita State def. Appalachian State – 4-3