No. 25 Eagles End Season With Loss To Valdosta State 3-1
LAKELAND, FLA. – The No. 25 ranked Florida Gulf Coast University softball team continued play today in the NCAA Division II South Region tournament. The No. 5 seed Eagles took on the No. 7 seed, (40-23) Valdosta State University in round three of the South Region tournament. The Eagles fell to the Blazers 3-1 in seven innings.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior Jessica Rouse (Jacksonville, Fla.) received a walk and stole second while Beck was picked off at third. Next at bat was freshman third baseman Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.). With two outs, Jenks hit a single to center field bringing home Rouse. In the bottom of the first the Eagles closed the inning for the Blazers 1-2-3.
The Eagles kept the 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Caroline Cripe (Americus, GA) of Valdosta made it to first on an error by Jenks who over through the ball to first. Senior Holly Willis (Elkhorn, Neb.) was hit by a pitch as she stepped up to bat, putting two runners on base. Junior first baseman Natasha Johnson (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
gave the Blazers their first out as she caught an attempted bunt. Junior Amy Gaiss (Valdosta, GA) hit a homerun over left field wall kncoking in three RBI’s to give the Blazers a 3-1 lead. Eagle sophomore pitcher Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, Fla.) struckout the next two batters to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth, down by two runs, the Eagles were unable to score. Natasha Johnson hit a high fly ball out to left field that looked like it was going to be a homerun but it was snagged by Blazer outfielder senior Melissa Santana (Woodland Hills, Cal.) as she nearly took out the fence.
In the bottom of the fifth, with one out, junior Peaches Ramsey (Hartwell, GA) walked. Junior Trele Edwards (Hudson, GA) stepped up to bat only to have Ramsey thrown out at second as senior shortstop Christine Beck (Hudson, Fla.) caught the ball and dropped the tag. Edinger finished the inning with another strikeout.
In the top of the sixth, junior Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, Fla.) led off the inning with a single down left field line. The Blazers made a pitching change bringing in senior Elske ten Hoope (Zoetermeer, Netherlands). Next at bat for the Eagles was Beck. Homan was thrown out while trying to steal second. This gave the Eagles their first out of the inning. Beck hit a line drive that hit Hoope but the ball was picked and Beck was thrown out for the second out. The Eagles ended the inning still down by two runs.
In the bottom of the sixth Blazer freshman Brianna Collis (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) hit a double down left field line after Edinger struck out the two previous Blazer batters. In the next at bat, homerun hitter Gaiss was walked putting two runners on base for the Blazers. Edinger held strong, striking out Blazer freshman Becca Aszman (Peachtree City, GA) to close out the inning.
With one inning left, down by two, in the top of the seventh, Jenks led off for the Eagles with a walk. The Blazers picked up the victory over the Eagles by retiring the next three batters in a row.
Edinger pitched six innings with eight strikeouts, two hits and three runs. She ends the season with a record 269 total strikeouts in just 212 innings pitched. She now holds the school record for most strikeouts in a season and has the second lowest all time ERA at 0.79.
The winning pitcher for the Blazers was Kristen Lindsey (18-8). Lindsey pitched five innings with five strikeouts, three hits and one run.
The Eagles end their season 58-9 overall and hold the record for most wins for a softball team in FGCU history. Teams still competing in the South Region tournament are No. 2 seed Barry University, No. 1 seed Florida Southern, No. 3 seed Alabama Huntsville and No. 7 Valdosta State. The South Region tournament winner will advance to the Elite Eight tournament for the national title.
FIRST ROUND NCAA SOUTH REGION
Thursday, May 11
Game One: #3 seed Alabama-Huntsville (49-15) defeated #6 seed Saint Leo (37-19) 2-1 in 13 innings
Game Two: #2 seed Barry (38-11) defeated #7 seed Valdosta State (38-23) 1-0 in 7 innings
Game Three: #5 seed Florida Gulf Coast (58-7) defeated #4 seed North Alabama (39-19) 5-1 in 7 innings.
Game Four: #1 seed Florida Southern (50-5) defeated #8 seed Kentucky State (25-9) 9-0 in 5 innings
Friday, May 12
Game Five: #7 seed Valdosta State (39-23)defeated Saint Leo (37-20) 3-1 in 7 innings
Game Six: #4 seed North Alabama (40-19) defeated #8 seed Kentucky State (25-10) 8-0 in 7 innings
Game Seven: #3 seed Alabama-Huntsville (50-15) defeated #2 seed Barry (38-12) 4-1 in 7 innings
Game Eight: #1 seed Florida Southern (51-5) defeated #5 seed Florida Gulf Coast (58-8) 5-1 in 7 innings
Saturday, May 13
Game Nine: #2 seed Barry (39-12) defeated #4 seed North Alabama (40-23) 2-1 in 7 innings.
Game Ten: #7 seed Valdosta State (39-23) defeated #5 seed Florida Gulf Coast (58-9) 3-1 in seven innings.