Softball Beats #6 LeMoyne and Mercyhurst in FGCU Invitational
Fort Myers, Fla- The Florida Gulf Coast University softball team had another undefeated day on Saturday hosting the FGCU Invitational Tournament, as they defeated Mercyhurst 6-1 and nationally ranked #6 LeMoyne 2-0. The Eagles improve their record to 12-3.
FGCU was victorious because of excellent pitching and strong defense. In game one, Junior Sarah Backe (Flossmoor, Ill) dominated the circle by combining with freshman Melissa Geissler (Fort Myers, Fla.) on a no-hitter.
Senior shortstop Christine Beck (Hudson, Fla.) and freshman third basemen Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.) provided a fortified wall of defense by putting out eight Mercyhurst batters. Freshman second baseman Paige Raulerson (LaBelle, Fla), junior first baseman Natasha Johnson (Fort Pierce, Fla), and Jenks were in on a double play that killed the Mercyhurst rally in the fourth inning. From that point in the game, Backe sat down all the remaining batters for Mercyhurst in order, collecting four strikeouts along the way.
Junior Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, Fla.) started up the Eagle offense with a triple in the first inning. Beck drove in Rouse with a hit. Beck stole second and then advanced to third on a hit from Junior Amanda Deen (Jacksonville, Fla.). Sophomore Hillary Johnson (Fort Myers, Fla) drove in Beck and Deen with a double. After scoring three runs in the first inning, the Eagles had their way with Mercyhurst. Rouse led the team going two for three with a double and a triple. Deen and Hillary Johnson helped with four RBI between them.
The second game of the day would prove to be the toughest test yet for the Eagles, as they faced nationally ranked #6 LeMoyne. Dominant pitching was again the story for FGCU success. Sophomore pitcher Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, Fla.) gave another lights-out performance in the circle. Edinger pitched a complete game against the Dolphins of LeMoyne and gave up two hits, no runs, and amassed an impressive 10 strikeouts along the way. Edinger had an identical performance pitching against Mercyhurst on Friday, the first day of the FGCU Invitational tournament.
Beck provided all of the offense that Edinger would need. The senior shortstop drove in Jenks with a triple to right centerfield in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. FGCU added an insurance run in the fifth when Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, Fla) scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Rouse. Junior Roz Tyre (Lake City, Fla) also had a solid game going 2-for-2 with a walk.
FGCU (12-3 overall, 7-3 region) is scheduled to play #6 LeMoyne again on Sunday at 1 p.m. and Palm Beach Atlantic at 3 p.m. in the final day of the FGCU Invitational.