FGCU to Close Out Regular Season at UNF with A-Sun Championship Bye Up for Grabs
Thursday, May 02, 2013 | by Andrew Piper (@ADPiper7)
FGCU will look head to UNF (May 3-4) with a chance at the No. 2 seed for the 2013 A-Sun Tournament. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
FGCU will look head to UNF (May 3-4) with a chance at the No. 2 seed for the 2013 A-Sun Tournament. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)

Date: May 3-4, 2013
City: Jacksonville, Fla.
Site: UNF Softball Complex
Hashtags: #EaglePride / #ASunSB / #WingsUp
Live Stats: FGCUAthletics.com
Twitter: @FGCU_Softball
Current Streak: Won 3
On the Road: 8-6
All-Time vs. North Florida: 8-8
Game Times: Friday, May 3 (DH) – 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. | Saturday, May 4 – 1 p.m.
Game Notes: http://www.fgcuathletics.com/media/2012-13/Softball/PDF/Website%20Notes.pdf

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Having won eight of its last nine games and coming off of a sweep of Atlantic Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky, the FGCU softball team will head north to take on North Florida for its final three games of the 2013 regular season. The Green and Blue will take on the Ospreys on May 3 and 4 at the UNF Softball Complex.

The series will begin with a doubleheader on Friday, May 3 at 4 p.m. and will conclude with game three set for Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.

FGCU heads to the River City with an overall record of 35-16 this season and a 16-7 record in A-Sun play. The Eagles have posted an 8-6 road record this season and will look to finish with a winning road record at the conclusion of the trio of contests. UNF has posted a 40-13 overall record while going 18-6 against conference foes this season.

In a matchup dubbed as the “Battle of the Birds,” the Eagles and Ospreys will battle for the top spots in the A-Sun standings with both squads already having qualified for the conference tournament. Currently, UNF still can clinch the A-Sun regular season title and FGCU can still make a run at the No. 2 tournament seed, which would guarantee the Eagles a first-round bye.

The No. 2 seed can be captured by the Green and Blue if they either sweep the Ospreys or take two of three against UNF and Lipscomb drops one of three to NKU. UNF is still in play for the regular season title and they can claim it if they win two of three against FGCU.

The 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament will be hosted by Lipscomb at Draper Diamond in Nashville, Tenn. The top six teams in the A-Sun standings will face-off in the double elimination tournament that begins on May 8, with the top two teams receiving a first round bye.

The series with UNF will be the ninth A-Sun set for FGCU this season with the Eagles having won six of their first eight, four of which coming via sweep.

After a weekend in which FGCU surrendered just four runs to Northern Kentucky (Apr. 27-28) in 23 innings of play over three games, the Eagles will look to their pitching staff to limit UNF scoring threats. Junior transfer Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) is expected to lead the way from inside the circle for FGCU with her confidence riding high after being named A-Sun Pitcher of the Week on Apr. 29 as a result of going 3-0 against NKU and posting a 0.00 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched.

By sweeping the Norse, FGCU improved its record in A-Sun play this season to 16-7 and secured a winning record in league play for the Green and Blue in 2013. The Eagles have now finished with a winning mark in conference play for the sixth time in their six year tenure as an A-Sun member.

Selected to finish seventh in the 2013 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, UNF is greatly exceeding expectations as they currently sit in second place. The Ospreys clinched a berth in the 2013 A-Sun tournament for the first time in the history of the program after sweeping Jacksonville (Apr. 27-28) in the “River City Rumble.”

Both teams are familiar to extra base hits as UNF sits at second among A-Sun teams in doubles (69), while FGCU sits at third (65). The Eagles have posted more solid numbers in certain offensive categories as FGCU leads the league in home runs (48) and the Ospreys sit dead last in the league in the long ball category (21).

The in-state foes are both familiar with using small ball to score runs as the Eagles lead the A-Sun in sacrifice flies (24), while ranking second in stolen bases (83) and the Ospreys lead the league in sacrifice bunts (48).

FGCU and UNF have had a total of 16 meetings all-time in the history of the programs and heading into the three-game series, they are tied at 8-8. The two sides last met on May 3, 2012 at the FGCU Softball Complex in a doubleheader that the Eagles swept by winning game one, 3-2, followed by a 2-1 victory in game two on a walk-off solo home run from Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) in the bottom of the ninth. The walk-off win lifted the Green and Blue to a share of the 2012 A-Sun Regular season title.

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