Zgrabik's Grand Slam Powers Softball to Split Against Stetson in A-Sun Play
Saturday, March 31, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder
FGCU (21-20, 1-2 A-SUN)
Stetson (17-11, 2-1 A-SUN)
3/31/2012 | DeLand, Fla. | Attendance: 827
Win: OWEN (9-7) 7.082243
Loss: JOSIE (6-5) 0.221100
TROTTO (STET) 422101
OWEN (STET) 302110

DELAND, Fla. – Sophomore catcher Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) blasted two home runs in the doubleheader, including a grand slam in game two to help the FGCU softball team split against Atlantic Sun foe Stetson (L, 3-2 W, 7-0) on Saturday night at the Patricia Wilson Field in Deland, Fla.

The Eagles are 22-20 (2-2 A-Sun) on the season, while Stetson’s record is 17-12 (2-2 A-Sun).

Zgrabik finished the doubleheader with four hits, two home runs, two runs and five RBI to pace the Green and Blue.

In game one, FGCU suffered through a three-hour rain delay and battled to a 3-2 loss after Stetson scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Chelsey Trotto singled with two outs to start the rally and Meredith Owen lined a single to centerfield, scoring Trotto from first to end the game in dramatic fashion.

With the Eagles trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh and down to their last out, Zgrabik blasted a game-tying home run, her fourth of the season, to send the game to the bottom of the seventh. Zgrabik went 3-for-4 at the plate for the third time this season and tied sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) for the team lead in home runs. Barnes finished 1-for-3 with her 19th stolen base of the season.

FGCU scored its first run in the top of the third when with two outs sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) worked a walk and moved to second base on an illegal pitch. Zgrabik singled to put runners on first and third when sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) singled to centerfield to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

After a three hour rain and lightning delay, Stetson scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. With two outs, Trotto homered to left field to tie the game at 1-1. Owen doubled to left field, followed by Brandt’s RBI single to give the Hatters a 2-1 lead.

Freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) tossed six innings to earn the no decision, allowing six hits on two earned runs with three strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) picked up her fifth loss after coming in relief of Morgan in the seventh.

In game two, Josie pitched a complete game shutout, her second of the season, to help FGCU bounce back with a 7-0 victory against Stetson. Josie allowed just five hits on no walks to improve to 7-5 on the season.

The Eagles took an early lead after Barnes singled to lead off the game and stole second base to move into scoring position. Lanier earned an RBI single to centerfield scoring Barnes with one out. FGCU couldn’t do any further damage after a strikeout and a pop out ended the frame.

The Green and Blue added another run in the top of the second as freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) reached on an error by the third base man, followed by junior Kayla Gabel’s (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) single to third base. Sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) walked to load the bases for Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). Knapik earned an RBI sacrifice fly to left field and Barnes was intentionally walked with one out. Junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) grounded into an inning ending 1-2-3 double play.

In the top of the fifth, Lanier smashed her third home run of the season to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.

FGCU busted open the game in the top of the seventh with a grand slam from Zgrabik to push its lead to 7-0. Zgrabik blasted her team-leading fifth home run to provide the big blow. Barnes started the inning with a walk and another stolen base, followed by a single from Fernandez and another walk to Lanier to load the bases.

Josie ended the game with an easy 1-2-3 inning on a line out and two fly outs.

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