FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University’s #17 softball team swept yet another doubleheader Monday evening over South Region opponent Florida Institute of Technology. It took the Eagles eight innings to get the win in the first game as they edged the Panthers 2-1. In the nightcap, FGCU got the win by a score of 8-1. FGCU is now 37-4 this season.
The first game of the night featured a great pitching duel as Eagles ace Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, FL) squared off against FIT’s Amber West. Edinger, a junior right-hander, pitched eight innings allowing four hits, one run, while striking out 12 batters. With the win, Edinger now has 17 wins with just two losses.
Despite having trouble hitting the ball for most of the game, the Eagles were able to get on the scoreboard in the second inning. Junior Hillary Johnson (Fort Myers, FL) led off with a single through the middle of the infield to get the first hit of the day for the Eagles. Junior Roz Tyre (Lake City, FL), singled to left and she advanced to second on an error by the left fielder. On the same play, Johnson was able to score from first base giving the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.
Florida Tech tied the ball game in the fourth inning when catcher Courtney Harless homered over the left field wall. The seventh inning ended with the ballgame still knotted at 1-1. Edinger stayed in the game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, striking out two batters in the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, freshman Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, FL) hit a clutch single to center field. Jenks followed with her 12th stolen base of the year. Senior Christine Beck (Hudson, FL) stepped up to the plate and jacked a game-winning double to right center, scoring Jenks from second.
In the second game, freshman Melissa Geissler (Fort Myers, FL) got the win improving to 9-2 this season. She pitched her sixth complete game, striking out seven Panther batters while allowing four hits and one run.
Once again the Eagles took an early lead. Jenks drew a walk to start things out in the bottom of the first for the Eagles. Beck grounded out to the second baseman advancing Jenks to second. Junior Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, FL) hit the ball towards the pitcher who fielded the ball and turned to third base in an effort to keep Jenks from going to third. Jenks, who was already half way to third, stopped in her tracks as she waited for the pitcher’s move. The Panthers pitcher hurled the ball way over the third baseman’s head which allowed Jenks to round the base and touch home plate for the first run of the game.
The Eagles wouldn’t score again until the fourth inning when they put six runs on the scoreboard. Tyre started things out for the Eagle’s with a single to left field. Sophomore Christa Piquette (Barrington, Rhode Island) came into the game to run for Tyre. Piquette stole second before freshman LeeAnne McDowell flied out to right field. Junior Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, FL) reached on an error and fellow junior Alisha Boyd (Naples, FL) walked to load the bases. Junior Natasha Johnson (Fort Pierce, FL) got hit by the pitch and snagged a RBI as Piquette walked to home plate to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. With the bases still loaded Jenks singled to the left side scoring Homan. Florida Tech made a pitching change before facing Beck. Beck hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Boyd from third and advancing Jenks and Johnson. Two Eagles runners were on base as Rouse hit her tenth homer of the year giving FGCU a 7-0 lead.
FGCU would score another run in the sixth as Hillary Johnson drove in Jenks from second with a single up the middle.
Jessica Rouse went 2 for 3 in the game with three RBI and one run scored. Jenks, Beck, Hillary Johnson and Natasha Johnson all knocked in a run in game two for the Eagles.
The Florida Gulf Coast University’s softball team is in action again tomorrow as they host Hillsdale College (MI) for a doubleheader starting at 5 pm.