2/22/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 321
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In its first game of the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational, FGCU (4-4) ran into a hot pitcher and fell 3-0 to Minnesota on Friday night at the FGCU Softball Complex.
“Congratulations to (Minnesota starting pitcher) Sarah Moulton. She pitched one heck of a game,” said FGCU head coach David Deiros. “They did a nice job of finally getting to Shelby at the end and that was the difference in the ball game. We started to take some better swings towards the end but once you fall behind three you really got to stay disciplined and we didn't do a very good job in that last inning in staying disciplined.”
Sophomore Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) got the start for the Eagles as the starters for FGCU and Minnesota dominated from inside the circle early on in the contest as through the first four innings the pitchers combined for a total of six strikeouts while allowing three hits and no runs.
Mouton struck out nine FGCU batters in an outing in which she held the Eagles hitless until Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) reached base on an infield single with one out in the home half of the seventh inning. Aside from FGCU collecting three base on balls and Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City HS) stealing second base after reaching on an error, FGCU was kept in check by a strong Minnesota defense.
After Minnesota placed runners in scoring position in the sixth, Morgan was able to escape the inning with the assistance from a strong FGCU infield consisting of 2013 Preseason All-Conference infielder Kirsten Bembnowski along with the rest of a fielding crew that has compiled a .965 fielding percentage thus far in 2013.
Minnesota led off the seventh inning with a double off the wall in right center field which was followed by a double down the left field line to bring across the first run of the game and give the Golden Gophers a 1-0 lead. Junior transfer Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) entered in relief for Morgan, but Minnesota was able to bring across two additional runs in the top of the inning to give themselves a 3-0 before FGCU had one more chance at a comeback that eventually fell short.
FGCU returns to action at the FGCU Softball Complex on Saturday, Feb. 23 as they will host day two of the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational. The Eagles will take on Villanova at 1:30 p.m. and Albany at 6:00 p.m. All-day passes are still available for Saturday and Sunday with tickets costing $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12.
For information on the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational, including game times and participating teams, visit the Tournament Central page. 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 Spring Break Invitational Day One Results
Friday, Feb. 22
Villanova def. Albany – 5-0
Minnesota def. Albany – 4-2
Villanova def. St. Bonaventure – 10-8
Minnesota def. FGCU – 3-0
Michigan State def. St. Bonaventure – 12-0 (5 inn.)