@FGCU_Softball Splits with ACC Foes in Midweek Double Header
|Win: JOSIE (4-4)||7.0||9||2||2||1||4|
|Loss: Maggie Tyler (6-4)||5.2||3||1||1||2||4|
|Kylie McGoldrick (VT)||4||0||2||0||0||0|
|Vanessa Gonzalez (VT)||4||1||2||0||0||0|
|Dani Anderson (VT)||3||0||2||1||0||0|
|Win: Lacey Waldrop (13-2)||7.0||2||0||0||0||13|
|Loss: MORGAN (5-3)||4.0||10||5||5||1||0|
|Tiffani Brown (FS)||4||2||2||0||0||0|
|Courtney Senas (FS)||4||2||2||2||0||0|
|Maddie O'Brien (FS)||4||0||2||3||0||0|
|Alex Kossoff (FS)||2||1||2||0||0||0|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU Softball team welcomed ACC foes Virginia Tech and Florida State to the FGCU Softball Complex Wednesday afternoon for a midweek double header. The Eagles split the two games, claiming the first tilt against the Hokies in walk-off fashion before falling to FSU in the second game. The Green and Blue improved to 14-11-1 on the season.
“This is a great setup. These types of games, when we are playing against this caliber of opponent, are a great way for us to prepare for our conference schedule,” said head coach David Deiros. “The Atlantic Sun is that good, there are a bunch of good teams and if we can win some games against the likes of teams like Virginia Tech and hold our own against Florida State I see us doing some great things in conference.”
The home team took the dramatic win, led by solo homers from Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) and Hannah Horwath (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary High School) as well as a clutch game-winning hit from Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School. SeniorAmanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero High School) earned the complete-game victory for her sixth of the season.
Horwath, Zgrabik and Mackenzie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) each produced two hits for the Eagles on the day with Horwath and Zgrabik adding RBIs for the Green and Blue.
The Eagles sent Josie to the circle for her eight start of the season against Virginia Tech. The senior got off to a blazing start, needing only six pitches to retire the first two batters. She saw her efficiency take a hit as the next batter singled, followed by a quick walk. The right hander got out of the jam by inducing a quick ground out to second to end the inning.
The Green and Blue started the bottom of the first swinging. Carpenter led off the bottom frame for the Eagles by smacking a solo shot to straight away center. The Green and Blue continued to capitalize on Virgina Tech starter Kelly Heinz with two quick singles from McAvoy and Zgrabik. The right-hander nullified the threat by forcing a fly out, ground out and a strike out in quick succession to end the inning.
In the second, Josie overcame a leadoff single to breeze through the inning with three swift outs. The Eagles saw an excitingly similar start to the second inning with yet another leadoff solo jack, this time coming from Horwath, her first of the season.
The second FGCU home run of the game signaled the exit for the right-handed pitcher Heinz. The second-year starter was replaced by sophomore Maggie Tyler. The Hokies hurler allowed a bloop single to her first batter before settling down and retiring the next three in order.
After two innings, the Eagles had already smacked five hits to just two for Virgina Tech but the Blacksburg based team began to heat up in the third.
The Hokies pounded a few singles in between outs to put two runners on before an error loaded the bases. The VT third baseman stepped into the batter’s box with a chance to put her team on the board. The batter drilled a long-fly ball deep to center that appeared to be headed to fence before Carpenter made a stellar over the shoulder grab to preserve the lead at 2-0 in favor of the home team.
Virgina Tech finally broke through in the top of the fourth when freshman Elizabeth Birle knocked a home run over the left field fence to cut the Green and Blue lead in half. The Hokies rallied again in the fifth when with a double into the gap in right-center. Josie nearly got out of the inning with two quick outs but VT laced an RBI single to right to tie the game.
With the game tied going into the bottom of the seventh, the Green and Blue had the opportunity to close out the game and reward Josie for her complete game, four strike-out performance. Carpenter, who had already homered in the game, worked a leadoff walk to put the winning run on base. Carpenter advanced to second on a well-placed ground ball from McAvoy. Ultimately, it was a Zgrabik shot to center field that enabled Carpenter to score from second and give FGCU a walk-off win.
Josie moved to 4-4 on the season with a 3-2 win over Virginia Tech. She allowed nine hits through seven complete innings with four strikeouts.
FGCU took on Florida State in game two of the doubleheader. The Seminoles sent All-American pitcher Lacey Waldrop to the circle. The junior entered the outing with a pristine 12-2 record to go along with a dominant ERA of 0.58.
Combating Waldrop for the Eagles was Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School). The right handed junior was starting her 10th game of the season for the Green and Blue.
FSU jumped ahead in the top of third with an offensive burst that saw them take a 2-0 edge. The Noles kicked off the frame when the leadoff batter knocked a deep infield single towards second. The runner stole second before attempting to score on a single. The runner was tagged at third by Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor) but the bizarre play enabled the hitter to advance to third. The runner scored on a double down the third-base line to put FSU ahead in the second inning. Another single scored a second run to put FSU up 2-0 after three innings.
Florida State used a bevy of hits to tack on an additional three runs in the top of the fifth. The hit parade continued for the team from Tallahasee, as they finished with 10 on the night.
The Eagles could not muster much against the powerful Waldrop. She limited FGCU to just two hits while striking out an impressive 13 batters. She earned the complete game victory for her 13th win on the year, while Morgan suffered the loss to fall to 5-3 on the year.
To highlight the win over Virginia Tech, sophomore Louie Ross (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida S. Baker High School) knocked a double to the left-field fence that hit the Self Insured Plans sign on the outfield fence. As part of a season-long promotion with SIP, the fifth-inning hit gave way to a $1,000 prize awarded to an FGCU student selected by a drawn raffle ticket. Freshman Noah Poloniecki accepted the prize and reset the Diamond Dollars count. For each game that passes without the sign being hit, the promotion will increase $100.
FGCU will be back in action on Saturday, March 15 as the team hosts ETSU in an Atlantic Sun Conference double header. The first game is slated for 3 p.m. with a second game to immediately follow. The teams will wrap up a three-game series with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.
Tickets for all FGCU softball games are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets provide entrance to the entire day of the tournament. For more ticket information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call or visit the ticket office at 239-590-7145.
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