Morgan’s Shutout Paces FGCU to Spilt on Final Day at UCF Invitational
Sunday, February 26, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
Seton Hall (3-5)
FGCU (5-9)
2/26/2012 | Orlando, Fla. | Attendance: 100
Seton Hall0004000461
Win: HILL (1-0) 5.293326
Loss: PUGH (1-5) 4.044323
DeSTASO (SHU) 312000

ORLANDO, Fla. – Highlighted by a two-hit shutout by freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS), the FGCU softball team split a pair of games against Seton Hall, 4-3, and Eastern Michigan, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at the UCF Courtyard by Marriott Invitational at the UCF Softball Complex.

The Eagles finish the UCF Invitational with a 6-9 overall record, while Eastern Michigan falls to 2-3 and Seton Hall improves to 3-5 on the season.

In game one, the Eagles tried to rally back after falling behind 4-1, but lost 4-3 to Seton Hall. The Green and Blue had 10 hits, including a 3-for-4 effort by sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS). Classmate Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 at the plate.

Junior Britney Pugh (Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Petersburg College) took the loss throwing four innings, allowing four hits on three earned runs, while relief pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) tossed three strong innings, allowing just two hits and no earned runs with two strikeouts.

FGCU scored first in the bottom of the third with a two-out RBI single by Barnes. The third inning started with back-to-back singles from junior Kayla Ramey (Fort Myers, Fla./North Fort Myers HS/Seminole State College) and sophomore Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). Barnes delivered with two outs after a strikeout and a fly out to give the Eagles an early advantage.

Seton Hall answered in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer to left field from Kristen Kaelin to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Daniello DeStaso singled with one out, followed by a triple down the right field line by Meredith Henze, who scored on the play after an error by Ramey allowed her to score. Seton Hall finished the fourth inning with four runs on three hits and one error.

The Eagles had an opportunity in the bottom half as Zgrabik doubled to left center to start the frame. Junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) singled up the middle after a strikeout to put runners on second and third with one out. Seton Hall ended the threat with a strike out and a ground out to keep the three-run lead.

FGCU cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth after scoring two runs on three hits with two errors on Seton Hall. The Eagles sent eight batters to the plate with Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) earning a walk to start the inning. Williams swiped her seventh stolen base of the year to move her into scoring position. Barnes singled to the shortstop for her second hit of the game, followed by an RBI single from classmate Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) to give the Eagles their second run of the contest. Zgrabik plated the third run with an RBI single to right field scoring Barne to make the score 4-3 Seton Hall. The Pirates kept the one-run lead after a ground out and a fly out to end the frame.

Relief pitcher Jen Metzger earned the save for the Pirates throwing 1.1 innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts. Hannah Hill picked up the victory going 5.2 innings, allowing nine hits on three earned runs with six strikeouts.

In game two, freshman starting pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) threw a two-hit shutout for her fourth complete game of the season to improve to 4-2 on the season. Morgan finished with no walks and seven strikeouts.

FGCU had a chance to score in the bottom of the second when redshirt junior Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) laced a one out double to left center, followed by classmate Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood HS) who reached on an error by the third basemen put runners on first and third with one out. Eastern Michigan ended the threat with two lineouts to keep the game scoreless through two innings.

The Green and Blue took the lead in the bottom of the fifth after a one out walked from Barnes set the stage for junior Stephanie Kujawa (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City HS/ Virginia Tech) who lined a RBI triple to centerfield to plate Barnes for the first run. The Eagles would load the bases after two walks, but couldn’t convert as a fly out by sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) ended the inning.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), results and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.

UCF-Courtyard by Marriott Invitational Games
Friday, February 24
FGCU 5, Eastern Michigan 1

Saturday February 25
Seton Hall 6, FGCU 2

Sunday February 26
Seton Hall 4, FGCU 3
FGCU 1, Eastern Michigan 0