Softball Splits Midweek Battle Against Canisius and Northern Illinois
|Win: MORGAN (9-2)||5.0||2||0||0||3||6|
|Loss: Amanda Baun (0-4)||2.0||4||6||6||5||3|
|Lauren Falzone (CANISIUS)||2||0||1||0||0||0|
|Erica Afanador (CANISIUS)||1||0||1||0||1||0|
|Win: DORTCH (7-5)||7.0||2||3||3||9||13|
|Loss: CAMPEN (1-4)||1.0||2||1||1||2||0|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team picked up a 9-0 run-rule win thanks in part to freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan’s (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) two-hit shutout in game one, before dropping a 4-3 decision to Northern Illinois in the night cap on Tuesday night at the FGCU Softball Complex.
The Eagles are 14-14 (1-1 A-Sun) on the season, while Canisius falls to 4-11 and Northern Illinois improves to 9-9.
In game one, FGCU earned its seventh shutout of the season and fifth from Morgan who scattered just two hits in five innings to improve her record to 9-2 on the season. Morgan also had six strikeouts in her seventh complete game of the year.
The Green and Blue jumped on Canisius sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs off two hits to take a commanding 7-0 lead after one inning. Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) worked a leadoff walk, followed by her 10th stolen base of the season. Freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) also walked and sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) loaded the bases with another walk. Sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) provided the big blow with a single up the middle scoring two runs to give FGCU a 2-0 lead, followed by another walk from junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) to load the bases again. Sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) earned an RBI walk and classmate Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead. Redshirt junior Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood HS) deposited the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for a three-run homer for her first of the season. In total the Eagles managed seven walks in the first inning and came away with a seven-run cushion.
In the bottom of the second, the Eagles added two more runs off a couple of miscues from Canisius to start the frame. Zgrabik reached on an error by the third baseman and Fernandez reached on an error by the pitcher. After a ground out by Bembnowski moving the runners to second and third with out, Garabedian delivered a two-run single to center field scoring Zgrabik and Fernandez to give FGCU a 9-0 lead.
Canisius could only muster two hits in the game both as singles in the second inning and the final frame in the top of the fifth.
Six Eagles’ had at least one hit in the game with Garabedian, Zgrabik and Green accounting for eight RBI.
In game two, FGCU rallied back to take a 3-2 lead but couldn’t hold on falling to Northern Illinois, 4-3, snapping its five-game winning streak.
The Huskies took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Nicole Gremillion smashed a two-run home run to right field. The inning started with an error by FGCU starting pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) that allowed Erika Oswald to reach base. Josie would get an out off a sacrifice from Amanda Sheppard and a fly out by Emily Woller, but Gremillion did the damage with two outs.
In the bottom of the third, the Eagles would rally back after Zgrabik hit her second home run in three days to left field to tie the game at 2-2. Lanier worked a two out walk to setup Zgrabik’s game-tying homer.
The Green and Blue would take the lead on a long home run from Barnes down the left field line to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Ashley Kopp singled to right center to lead off the inning for Northern Illinois, ending Josie’s night in the circle. Josie finished the game allowing six hits, one earned run and three strikeouts in six innings. Redshirt senior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) came in relief to try to close the game. Oswald laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Kopp into scoring position, followed by a game-tying double by Amanda Sheppard. After a fly out by Gremillion, Stephanie Tofft laced a single up the middle to score pinch-runner Jessica Sturm from second.
The Eagles had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh as Barnes worked a walk to lead off the inning. Carpenter placed a sacrifice bunt down to move Barnes into scoring position. Lanier would battle to a 10-pitch at bat but struck out swinging for the second out. Zgrabik would be intentionally walked and Fernandez would walk to load the bases with two outs for Garabedian but she struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
NIU’s Megan Dortch (7-5) went the distance for the win allowing two hits, three earned runs, nine walks and 13 punch outs.
The Green and Blue head back on the road for their final tournament of the season in the USF The Game tournament in Clearwater, Fla. on March 16-18 against Rutgers, Northern Colorado, UNC-Wilmington, Fairfield and UMASS.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), results and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
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