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USC Upstate Blanks FGCU Softball to Avoid Series Sweep
|Win: UJVARI (17-2)||7.0||2||0||0||1||4|
|Loss: JOSIE (11-4)||6.0||6||3||3||1||2|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With a chance to punch its ticket to the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament, the FGCU softball team was blanked by A-Sun leader USC Upstate, 3-0, in the final game of a three-game set on Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex.
With FGCU having won the first two contests of the series on Saturday and USC Upstate taking game three, the Eagles are now 32-16 overall this season with a 13-7 mark in A-Sun play. The Sunday victory helped the Spartans improve to 37-7 on the year with a 17-5 record against conference opponents to keep themselves atop the A-Sun standings.
FGCU has now won five of the seven A-Sun series it has competed in thus far this season.
“We did a really nice job getting ourselves into the position to win the series and you just have to tip your cap today to USC Upstate because they did a nice job of shutting us down,” said head coach David Deiros. “We just have to make sure we do a better time the next time we see them.”
Just as they did in the first two contests of the series, the Spartans scored early against the Eagles. A trio of singles was enough for USC Upstate to take a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning.
The starting pitchers for each side, junior Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) for FGCU and Jamie Ujvari for USC Upstate, dueled with opposing batters and came out on top more often than not through the first three innings.
After allowing a run to cross in the first inning, Josie regained her composure to retire ten straight Spartan batters, a stretch that began in the second inning and crossed into the sixth, to keep USC Upstate from extending its lead over FGCU.
The FGCU batting order was successful in working the count against the USC Upstate starting pitcher, resulting in a pitch count that rose quickly as a result of multiple 3-2 counts for Eagle hitters. FGCU was only able to collect two hits on the day against the Spartans in a game dominated by pitching.
Still in a low-scoring affair in the top half of the sixth inning, the Spartan batting order was able to double their lead by following a four-pitch walk with a double to right center that brought the runner around from first and made it a 2-0 ball game.
USC Upstate was not done extending its lead as a double off of the wall in center field plated another Spartan runner, making it 3-0 in favor of the visitors heading into the home half of the sixth.
Ujvari continued to find success against the FGCU batting order through the rest of the game as the starter finished her outing to collect the complete game victory while allowing just two hits to secure the 3-0 victory for USC Upstate.
The Eagles and Spartans have now squared off a total of 14 times in the history of the two programs with FGCU leading the all-time series 7-6. The Green and Blue have won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams and FGCU is 7-1 against the Spartans when the two teams do battle at the FGCU Softball Complex.
Over the course of the three games, the FGCU pitching staff was able to keep the high powered USC Upstate batting order, which leads the A-Sun in a number of offensive categories, in check by allowing just six runs through 19 innings.
With the regular season winding down, FGCU will now look towards its three-game set with A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky with the trio of games to serve as the conclusion of the 2013 home season for the Green and Blue. The series will begin with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m. with both contests to serve as the annual pink game for the Eagles in which FGCU will don its pink uniforms for both of the day’s games.
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.