Eagles Win a Pair of Games on Final Day of Spring Break Invite
Sunday, February 28, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team swept their two games Sunday, defeating St. Francis (PA) 2-1, and knocking off Villanova, 6-3. With the wins, the Eagles finished the FGCU Spring Break Invitational with a 3-1 record, good for second place just behind the tournament champion Georgia Southern Eagles (4-1).

The Eagles (5-7) need a strong performance in the circle from starting pitcher Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.) to defeat St. Francis in the first game by a score of 2-1. McDaniel (2-4) delivered, pitching a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits, picking up five strikeouts against no walks.

FGCU had opportunities early in the game, stranding seven runners in the first four innings without scoring a run. The Blue and Green finally got on the board with a run in the fifth, as Courtney Platt (Greenville, Ohio) singled home Hayley O’Mara (Naples, Fla.) to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Freshman Tiffani Upchurch (Lake Wales, Fla.) doubled the lead with a solo home run down the left field line to lead off the top of the sixth inning. For Upchurch, it was her second home run of the season.

The Red Flash (1-7) scratched out a run in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out infield single, but McDaniel was able to retire Heather Stiglich on a ground ball to end the game, giving FGCU a 2-1 win.

Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.), Platt, and Upchurch each collected a pair of hits in the victory for the Eagles.

The bats warmed up a little bit in the second game, as FGCU scored six runs to defeat the Villanova Wildcats, 6-3. Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla.) pitched five innings to pick up the win, improving to 2-3 on the season. Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla.) notched her first save of the season, pitching the final two frames without allowing a run to secure the victory.

The Blue and Green jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, using four hits and two walks to score three times. After Ziegler singled and stole second and third, Platt singled her home for the first run. McDaniel, serving as the DP for this game, singled up the middle to score O’Mara, who had reached via a base on balls. After Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla.) walked to load the bases, Brittany Baker (Summerfield, Fla.) singled through the left side, scoring Platt with the third run of the inning.

The Eagles tacked on two more runs in the third, despite recording just one hit. A bases-loaded walk to Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla.) scored Upchurch, which was immediately followed by Ziegler being hit by a pitch to score McDaniel.

Danielle Maricle singled home two runs for Villanova (3-6) in the top of the fifth, and later scored on a wild pitch, cutting FGCU’s lead to 5-3.

The Blue and Green would add one more run in the sixth, thanks to a leadoff home run off the bat of Platt, her second homer of the season.

The Eagles will return to the FGCU Softball Complex for a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday (Mar. 2) afternoon. First pitch for game one is set for 5 p.m.

2010 FGCU Spring Break Invitational All-Tournament Team

P – Brianna Streetmon (Georgia Southern)
P – Lacey Middlebrooks (Minnesota)
DP – Megen Smith (Georgia Southern)
DP – Raquel Rugani (St. Francis)
C – Amanda Marquez (Villanova)
IF – Hayley O’Mara (FGCU)
IF – Stacie Skodinski (Eastern Michigan)
IF – Julianne Towers (Connecticut)
IF – Taylor Darnielle (St. Francis)
OF – Jessica Gary (FGCU)
OF – Jenny Scherer (Eastern Michigan)
OF – Marie Fogle (Georgia Southern)
Utility (P/DP) – Molly Manning (Villanova)
Tournament MVP – Nina Iduate (Georgia Southern)