3/8/2013 | Stanford, Calif. | Attendance: 168
3/8/2013 | Stanford, Calif. | Attendance: 288
PALO ALTO, Calif. – In the first day of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, the FGCU softball team (14-7) were unable to come up victorious as it took on Pacific and No. 18 Stanford at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on Friday.
After sweeping St. Mary’s in two low scoring contests on March 6, FGCU fell to Pacific, 10-6, in a high scoring game and No. 18 Stanford, 2-1, in a low scoring affair, which brought a four-game win streak to an end for the Green and Blue.
“It was a tough day against two very good teams. We need to execute better in order to return those results around, said head coach David Deiros. “The great thing about our sport is we get another chance tomorrow against the same two teams.”
FGCU, who served as the visitors in a neutral site contest for its first game in the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, took on a Pacific team that took on No. 6 Cal the night before.
With both starting pitchers finding success early on in the contest and each team having mustered up just one hit, the hitters began to put bat to ball in the third inning. Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) started the scoring as she got a hold of one and sent it deep to straight away center field to break a scoreless tie and put FGCU up 1-0.
Pacific would not take long to respond as they used small ball with a walk and a fielder’s choice to have a two-run half inning which gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The home team was not done on offense as Pacific used a six-run scoring flurry in the bottom of the fifth to go up 8-1 and nearly ended the contest in five innings by mercy rule, but FGCU used two straight groundouts to keep the game going.
In the visitor’s frame of the sixth, FGCU closed the gap by scoring four runs on two hits to make it a 8-5 game to put the Eagles within striking distance with less than two innings to play.
Pacific added two insurance runs to increase the difficulty of a comeback for the Green and Blue and extend its lead to five runs over FGCU, to make it a 10-5 game through six innings.
With one last chance to complete its second comeback victory in three days, FGCU was in need at least five runs to extend the game, but were unable to do so as they were only able to bring one run across with Pacific coming out victorious, 10-6.
In the second game of the day for FGCU, the Green and Blue took on Louisville Slugger Classic host, No. 18 Stanford, to close out day one. The Cardinal would not let the game remain scoreless for more than a half inning as Stanford brought across two runs in the home half of the first by a base on balls and hit batter to jump out front, 2-0.
FGCU wanted in on the scoring action as it used two walks and two base hits to bring across its first run of the game as Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) crossed the plate to make it a 2-1 game and bring the Eagles within one run of the nationally-ranked hosts.
The Green and Blue hung around with Stanford, just as they have done in recent affairs with ranked opponents. Once starting pitcher Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) settled in with the help of the FGCU defense, scoring threats were hard to come by for both the Eagles and Cardinal.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) reached base on a bunt single and Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) singled to center field to set up an ideal situation with runners on first and second for Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) as she stepped to the plate. Stanford entered Teagan Gerhart to pitch in relief and Gerhart made sure to avoid the situation from escalating by getting Zgrabik to strike out swinging for the final out of the game to clinch a 2-1 Cardinal victory.
FGCU will get another chance at both teams that it fell to on Friday, in day two of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic on Saturday, March 9. The Green and Blue will face Pacific at 3:15 p.m. and No. 18 Stanford at 7:45 p.m. which will be the fifth and six games of what is a seven-game California road trip for FGCU. For information on the Stanford Louisville Classic, visit the Louisville Slugger Classic Central.
In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.