TAMPA, Fla. - The FGCU softball team won one of two games on the opening day of the USF Loisville Slugger Tournament.
In game one the Eagles handed Illinois State a 10-2 season-opening loss in a run-rule shortened game at USF Stadium. FGCU jumped on Illinois State starting pitcher Amber Smith from the start of the game, collecting four hits and putting five batters on base before the first out was recorded. The Eagles scored five runs in the first.
In the second inning, the Eagles kept the pressure on and drove in five more runs to push the lead to 10-0.
ISU led off the third inning with a double and a pair of walks that loaded the bases for Jesse Buker. Buker singled to left to score two runs but that would be the end of the Illinois State rally. The next two ISU batters were both retired by Eagles' starter Cat McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.) to end the inning.
Seniors Jessica Carter (Ocala, Fla.), Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.), and Jessica Paez (Belle Glade, Fla.) each had solid performances for the Eagles. Carter finished 2-for-2 with four RBI. Jenks went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and Paez was 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored. Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.) had a solid FGCU debut finishing 2-for-3 and scoring two runs.
McDaniel picked up the win as she pitched a complete game. She pitched 5.0 innings, allowing only three hits. She struck out five batters along the way.
The second game of the evening was much different for Florida Gulf Coast as the Eagles were defeated by Minnesota 10-0 in five innings.
FGCU will return for day two of the USF Loisville Slugger Tourney tomorrow against UNC Greensboro and North Florida.