FGCU Softball Extends Winning Streak to 22
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The #17th ranked Florida Gulf Coast University softball team extends its winning streak to 22 games after shutout wins over Hillsdale College (MI) in a doubleheader Tuesday night.
With the two wins the Eagles are now 39-4 this season. Game one ended with the Eagles winning 8-0 in six innings. FGCU won in seven innings in the nightcap to defeat Hillsdale 4-0 and sweep the series.
In the first game, junior Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, FL) pitched a complete game shutout to improve to 18-2. Edinger struck out nine batters while giving up just four hits with one walk. She now has 172 strikeouts with an impressive ERA of 0.53.
The Eagles got on the board early, scoring in the bottom of the first inning. The number two hitter, senior Christine Beck (Hudson, FL), singled to the right side to start things out for the Eagles. With Beck on first, junior Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, FL) crushed the ball over the center field wall giving her 11 home runs for the year.
With juniors Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, FL) and Natasha Johnson (Ft. Pierce, FL) on second and third from Hillsdale errors, freshman Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, FL) hit the ball hard towards the third baseman. Hillsdale’s third baseman through the ball well over the first baseman’s head allowing both Homan and Johnson to score and Jenks to advance to second. Beck stepped in again and singled to right scoring Jenks from second.
The Eagles scored two more runs in the fourth inning. After sophomore Alisha Boyd (Naples, FL) singled to the left side, an error by the catcher allowed Beck to reach second, also moving Boyd to third. With one out, Rouse kept up her hot hitting ways with a 2 RBI double to right center. Boyd and Beck both crossed home plate to give the Eagles a commanding 7-0 lead.
The final Eagle’s run came in the bottom of the 7th. Another sloppy defensive play allowed Beck to reach second base. With a runner in scoring position and two down, sophomore Hillary Johnson (Fort Myers, FL) hit a clutch single up the middle that scored Beck from second. This ended game one as the mercy-rule was put into effect giving the Eagles the 8-0 victory.
Beck and Rouse both went 2 for 4 in the game. Beck knocked in one run while Rouse added 4 more RBI.
The game 2 starter for the Eagles was freshman Melissa Geissler (Fort Myers, FL). Geissler pitched five solid innings, striking out six before junior Sarah Backe (Flossmoor, Illinois) came in relief. Backe finished the last two innings without giving up a hit to Hillsdale. Geissler improves to 10-2 on the year.
Jenks, the Eagle’s lead-off hitter, drew a walk in the first inning. Rouse doubled to left field allowing Jenks to score the first run of game two. The Eagles wouldn’t score again until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Boyd started the offensive surge in the fifth with a double down the left field line. Sophomore catcher Lauren Barraco (North Fort Myers, FL) reached on a bunt single, moving Boyd to third. Eagle’s third baseman Jenks, hit a 2 RBI triple to center field that scored both runners. Beck hit an infield single, but a heads up play by Hillsdale’s second baseman kept Jenks from scoring. It wouldn’t be long before Jenks scored off of a sacrifice fly to right field by Rouse.
That was all the offense the Eagles would need, as good pitching shutout Hillsdale for a second time in the same day. Jenks went 2 for 2 with a walk and 2 RBI while Rouse also added two more runs batted in for FGCU. The Eagles pitching staff only allowed nine hits combined in games one and two.
FGCU is in action again Thursday as they host Franklin Pierce at 5pm. Franklin Pierce, which is located in New Hampshire, brings in a record of 5-1 on the season.