Eagles Softball Picks Up Win Over Claflin
by Matt Collver
BYRON, Georgia – The Florida Gulf Coast University softball team extended its winning streak to 29 games with a forfeit victory over Claflin University (SC) Saturday afternoon. FGCU scored 11 runs on 15 hits in 4 1/2 innings before Claflin forfeited. The Eagles are now 46-4 this season after going undefeated in the Fort Valley State Tournament before rain prematurely ended play Saturday.
Junior Sarah Backe (Flossmoor, Illinois) started her ninth game for FGCU. The right-hander went two and one third innings striking out five batters and only allowing two hits with no runs. Freshman Dana Frantz (Brighton, MI) came into the game in the third to hold Claflin hitless for the final 1 1/3 innings.
The Eagles put up eight runs in the bottom of the first inning. Back-to-back-to-back home runs by senior Christine Beck (Hudson, Fla.), junior Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, Fla.), and freshman LeeAnne McDowell (Arcadia, Fla.) gave FGCU an early 4-0 lead. It was the second game in two days that the Eagles hit three consecutive homeruns in a game. Rouse extends her FGCU homerun record to 17 jacks on the year. With bases loaded, sophomore Alicia Boyd (Naples, Fla.) ripped a single up the middle knocking in two more runs. Junior Natasha Johnson (Fort Pierce, Fla.) ended the scoring surge in the first with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored junior Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, Fla.) from third.
FGCU scored the final three runs in the second inning off of RBI from Homan, Natasha Johnson, and freshman Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.). Homan hit a single to center field that scored sophomore Hillary Johnson (Fort Myers, Fla.) from second base. Natasha Johnson’s RBI came when she drew a walk with the bases loaded. Later in the inning, Jenks hit a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Homan to tag-up from third.
Claflin chose not to bat in the fifth giving the Eagles the 11-0 win. Homan, Boyd, and Hillary Johnson all went 2-for-2 two for two in the game. Beck had three RBI while Boyd and Natasha Johnson each added two. Four other FGCU batters knocked in one run in the game.
FGCU will host South Region opponent Nova Southeastern in a doubleheader at 5:00 pm Tuesday evening.