@FGCU_Softball Set to Host Spring Break Invitational
Thursday, February 21, 2013 | by Andrew Piper (@ADPiper7)
FGCU (4-3) will host the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational Feb. 22 through Feb. 24. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
FGCU (4-3) will host the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational Feb. 22 through Feb. 24. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Minnesota (5-6)
FGCU (4-4)
2/22/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 321
Win: Moulton (5-4) 7.010039
Loss: MORGAN (2-2) 6.072223
Richardson (MINN) 403100

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU (4-3) is set to host the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational from Friday, February 22 through Sunday, February 24 at the FGCU Softball Complex. The other invitational participants include Albany, Michigan State, Minnesota, St. Bonaventure and Villanova.

The three day invitational will consist of 15 games over the weekend with each of the teams meeting in a round-robin style format.

The Green and Blue will host its second tournament in as many weeks after hosting the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament from Feb. 15 through Feb. 17 with the three day event having consisted of a total of 15 games at the FGCU Softball Complex.

Coaching will be something to watch among the six teams that will make up the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Tournament field as they are led by head coaches that have compiled a combined 97 seasons at their current programs.

The invitational will serve as the second half of a 10 game homestand for the Eagles that spans just as many days. After FGCU plays the last of its five games during the invitational on Sunday, Feb. 22 against St. Bonaventure at 3:45 p.m., the Eagles will not return to the FGCU Softball Complex until Wednesday, March 13 at the conclusion of two road tournaments over the next three weeks.

FGCU Preview

The Green and Blue will return to the FGCU Softball Complex field after an opening week that saw the Eagles play seven games in five days to kick off their 56 game 2013 season. FGCU is the only team out of the six in the invitational field that made a postseason appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) leads all Eagles in total bases (15) through the first week of play, with two doubles, one triple and a home run accounting for 11 of them. The sophomore outfielder looks to continue swinging a hot bat that has carried over from the 2012 season when Carpenter recorded six triples which ranked her seventh in the country last season.

FGCU has seven games under its belt so far in the 2013 season and are outscoring opponents by a combined 19 runs and in the four Eagle victories, FGCU has won by a total of 23 runs.

The Rest of the Field

Tabbed to finish first in the America East Conference in 2013, Albany will begin its season in Fort Myers. The Great Danes fell just shy of an NCAA Tournament berth in 2012 after a 36-14 (13-5 American East) campaign last season. Albany returns nine letterwinners and seven starters this season, including the 2012 American East Player of the Year and conference Rookie of the Year.

Michigan State welcomes back 13 letterwinners, including 10 with experience as starters as they are already two weeks into 2013 competition with a 5-4 record. The biggest threat the Spartans have this season is senior outfielder Kylene Hopkins who was named  to the watch list for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year after leading Michigan State  in batting average (.397), hits (62), RBI (24) and several other categories in 2012.

Another Big Ten team joins the invitational field in Minnesota (3-6) as the Golden Gophers are coming off a season in which they went 31-22 and 9-5 against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. Nine of 10 starters return for Minnesota, including two All-Big Ten third team selections at the pitcher and infielder positions.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies (1-7) will arrive with a young roster that features just four seniors along with three juniors, seven sophomores and six freshmen. The Bonnies closed the book on 2012 with a 17-27 overall record and a 6-14 finish in Atlantic 10 conference play. St. Bonaventure comes to southwest Florida with two road tournaments already under their belts in 2013.

Villanova (3-3-1) rounds out the invitational field after being selected to finish 11th in the Big East in the 2013 preseason poll after they went 32-24 last season. The Wildcats look too make improvements from last season with the help of head coach Maria DiBernardi who is in her 29 season as the head coach. Villanova will rely on their returners along with their nine newcomers to find a healthy balance that they hope will find success.

The FGCU/LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational will get underway at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 with Albany taking on Villanova. The tournament will come to a close on Sunday, Feb. 24 with a total of 15 games to be played during the course of the weekend. All-day passes are still available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday with tickets costing $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 12.

For information on the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational, including game times and live stats, visit the Tournament Central page. To purchase tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Tournament, visit the FGCU Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. or call 239-590-7145 for more information.

In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.

LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational Schedule
Friday, Feb. 22
10:00 AM - Albany vs Villanova
12:30 PM - Minnesota vs Albany
3:00 PM - Villanova vs St. Bonaventure
5:30 PM - FGCU vs Minnesota
8:00 PM - St. Bonaventure vs Michigan State

Saturday, Feb. 23
9:00 AM - Villanova vs Minnesota
11:15 AM - Michigan State vs Albany
1:30 PM - FGCU vs Villanova
3:45 PM - Minnesota vs St. Bonaventure
6:00 PM - Albany vs FGCU
8:15 PM - St. Bonaventure vs Michigan State

Sunday, Feb. 24
9:00 AM - Minnesota vs Albany
11:15 AM - Michigan State vs Villanova
1:30 PM - FGCU vs Michigan State
3:45 PM - St. Bonaventure vs FGCU