Softball Ends California Road Trip with Loss to Minnesota
|Win: Moulton (13-5)||7.0||3||1||0||2||7|
|Loss: OWEN (6-3)||3.0||3||3||2||3||1|
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Unable to close out its road trip with a victory, the FGCU softball team (15-9) fell 4-1 to Minnesota in the final day of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic on Sunday afternoon at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.
“Even though a 3-4 record doesn’t show it at first glance, this week was invaluable for our team,” said head coach David Deiros. “We will learn and improve from this experience.”
The Green and Blue brought their seven-game California road trip to a close and finished with a 3-4 record on the trip which began on March 6. In a game that was a rematch of a meeting on Feb. 22 in Fort Myers between FGCU and Minnesota, the Eagles looked to get even with the Golden Gophers after losing 3-0 in the first meeting.
Minnesota formed an offensive threat in the top of the first against FGCU starting pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) as they loaded up the bases with no outs. The Eagle defense and Josie settled down to get a lineout, a force out at home plate and a force out at second base to escape the inning without allowing any runs to cross the plate.
Both Amanda Josie and Minnesota starting pitcher Sarah Moulton dominated opposing hitters through the first three and a half innings until FGCU broke through. In the home half of the fourth, the Green and Blue loaded the bases with no outs and brought across the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice which scored Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) and gave FGCU a 1-0 advantage as they were unable to bring additional runs across.
After allowing a Minnesota single in the top of the fifth, Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) entered in relief for Josie with no outs and a runner on first base. After walking the first batter she faced, the next batter faced a 1-2 count and drove a ball over the outfield wall to collect three RBI and give the Golden Gophers a 3-1 lead, their first of the game.
In need of insurance runs to increase the difficulty for an FGCU comeback, Minnesota pulled an unearned run across in the visitor’s half of the seventh inning to make the score 4-1 after adding to its lead.
After allowing one run to score in the fourth inning, Minnesota’s Moulton kept firing against FGCU batters as she did not allow any hits through the final three innings of the game and kept the contest low-scoring to secure a 4-1 victory for the Golden Gophers as Moulton improved to 2-0 on the season against the Eagles.
FGCU will now head back home to Fort Myers for an eight-game homestand that will start with two games on Wednesday, March 13. The Green and Blue will take on Maine at 4:45 p.m. and Valparaiso at 7 p.m. with both games to be played at the FGCU Softball Complex.
In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
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