Eagles Softball Wins Two Against Nova Southeastern
by Matt Collver
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University softball team hosted a doubleheader against South Region foe Nova Southeastern University Tuesday evening. The Eagles defeated Nova in game one by a score of 2-1. In game two the Eagles trailed by one run for most of the game. A two-run sixth inning gave the Eagles the 2-1 victory as they swept the doubleheader.
With the two wins the Eagles extend their winning streak to 31 with an overall record of 48-4 this year.
In the first game, sophomore Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, Fla.) pitched a complete game picking up her 20th win of the season. Edinger struck out 13 of the 25 batters she faced only giving up one run on four hits. She now has 194 strikeouts in 147 innings on the year.
The Eagles didn’t get on the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth. Senior Christine Beck (Hudson, Fla.) led off the inning with a hard-hit single to right center. Junior slugger Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, Fla.) stepped in and ripped a double to left field, scoring Beck all the way from first base. Then sophomore clean-up hitter, Hillary Johnson (Fort Myers, Fla.) dropped a sacrifice bunt, successfully moving Rouse to third base. With one out, the hot hitting freshman LeeAnne McDowell (Arcadia, Fla.) singled up the middle knocking in Rouse for the second and final Eagle run.
Nova Southeastern threatened in the top of the sixth, cutting the lead to 2-1. Second baseman Callie Binkley doubled to left field, knocking in the only run of the game for the Sharks. Edinger stepped into the pitching circle in the top of the seventh, striking out two batters to end the first game.
Rouse and McDowell both went two for three with an RBI in the game. Three other batters had a hit for the Eagles.
Game two featured junior Sarah Backe (Flossmoor, Illinois) in the pitching circle. Backe pitched six solid innings for the Eagles. Backe only gave up four hits and one unearned run before she left the game.
Nova Southeastern struck first as they scored one run in the top of the third. Backe walked Nova’s Ashley Matthews to start the inning. Then the center fielder, Jada Phillips poked the ball towards the Eagles’ pitcher. Sophomore Lauren Barraco (North Fort Myers, Fla.) jumped up out of the catchers’ position to field the ball. Barraco rifled the ball over junior first baseman Natasha Johnson’s head allowing Matthews to cross the plate from second base. Phillips tried to score the Sharks second run when Missi Perez singled to left field. Rouse fielded the ball and gunned Phillips down at home plate to end the inning.
Sharks’ pitcher, Adrian Tuttle, pitched a no-hitter through five innings. Junior Roz Tyre (Lake City, Fla.) came in the game to pinch hit for Barraco. Tyre ruined the no-hitter with a single to right field in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.) dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Tyre into scoring position. With two outs, Beck stepped in and crushed a two-run jack over the left field wall. With Beck’s seventh homer of the year, the Eagles took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning.
Edinger, the game one winner, came into face the Sharks in the top of the seventh. She picked up her second save of the season pitching a one, two, three inning. Despite tough pitching by Nova’s Tuttle the Eagles were able to pull off the comeback victory.
Beck’s homer and Tyre’s clutch pinch hit single were the only hits for the Eagles in game two. Beck picked up two more RBI, giving her 38 on the year which is good for second on the team.
The Eagles will host Palm Beach on Friday for a 5 p.m. doubleheader.