@FGCU_Softball Scores Big to Conclude FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Round Robin
|Win: MORGAN (3-2)||7.0||5||1||1||0||2|
|Loss: Ricciardone (0-2)||6.0||5||3||3||4||4|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With 14 total hits and 15 runs scored, the FGCU softball team earned a pair of wins on Sunday afternoon to conclude the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Round Robin. The Eagles defeated Harvard 3-1 to open the day and took a five-inning 12-0 win over Eastern Michigan in the tournament’s final game. With the wins, the Green and Blue improve to 9-6-1 on the season.
“Today we were very efficient in all facets of the game,” said head coach Dave Deiros of the team’s performance. “We pitched very efficiently, we didn’t make many defensive mistakes and most importantly, we were able to separate ourselves from our opposition with what we did on offense. It was a great team effort all the way around.”
Mackenzie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) led the Eagles with four hits in seven at bats on Sunday. McAvoy crossed the plate three times. Senior Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) walked twice and hit a three-run homerun to pace the Eagles with five RBI on the day.
Lead-off batter Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) scored five of the Eagles’ 15 runs with two hits and three walks in five at bats.
As a unit, the Eagles outscored their opponents 15-1 on Sunday and maintained a team batting average of .318 with 14 hits. The squad drew nine walks and struck out just four times.
Harvard took an initial lead in the top of the first with a solo homerun over the right-field wall but the Eagles were quick to respond.
Barnes singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the first and advanced to second when McAvoy reached on an error. A Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) groundout moved the runners to second and third with just one out. As the next batter, Zgrabik recorded a sacrifice fly to right field to score Barnes and tie the contest at one run each.
Both teams were held scoreless through the second, third and fourth innings.
Barnes drew a walk to begin the fifth inning and stole second on her first opportunity. McAvoy singled to the left side and enabled Barnes to score from second. McAvoy reached third on the throw to keep a runner in scoring position with no outs. Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake High School) flied out to left field to score McAvoy and put the Eagles ahead 3-1.
The Eagles held the Crimson scoreless through the remaining innings to seal the win.
Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School) earned the win for FGCU with five hits allowed through seven complete innings of work. Morgan moved to 3-2 on the year by allowing just one run to score and striking out two of the 26 batters she faced.
Barnes drew another walk to open the afternoon game against Eastern Michigan and quickly stole second. McAvoy moved Barnes to third on a sacrifice bunt before Carpenter was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out. Zgrabik gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead with a three-run homerun over the left-field fence, her second bomb of the season.
Bembnowski and Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony High School) both drew walks to put two runners on again as Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep High School) approached the plate. After fouling-off five straight pitches, Garabedian tripled to the right-field fence to score both runners and put the home team up 5-0.
FGCU tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and no outs, Zgrabik drew a walk to score a run before Bembnowski singled through the left side to knock in another run. After a pitching change for Eastern Michigan, Lanier grounded out to short but enabled a third run to score. Through two innings the Eagles led 8-0.
Barnes and McAvoy led off the third inning with a walk and a single to put runners on with one out for Carpenter. The left fielder knocked a two-run double off the left-field wall to extend the Eagle lead to 10-0 in three innings.
Amanda Byers (North Miami Beach, Fla./Michael Krop High School) pinch hit to begin the fourth inning and singled up the middle. Byers advanced to second on a ground out and moved to third on a fly out before scoring on the result of a Jeanie Verderese (Jacksonville, Fla./Creekside High School) double. Barnes reached base on an error that allowed Verderese to score to move the Eagles’ run total to 12 runs in four innings.
The Green and Blue held Eastern Michigan scoreless in the top of the fifth to earn the five-inning win, 12-0.
Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero High School) picked up the win for the Eagles with no earned runs allowed. Josie gave up five hits in five innings and tied her career high with four strikeouts.
The Eagles will play a mid-week double header on Wednesday, Feb. 26 as they host Oakland University and Eastern Michigan at the FGCU Softball Complex. FGCU will take on Oakland at 4:45 p.m. and will face Eastern Michigan again at 7 p.m.
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