Jessica Gary went a combined 4-8 with 2 doubles on Saturday, scored 4 times, and drove in 3 runs
MIAMI – The FGCU softball team continued its dominance of the FIU Blue & Gold Felsburg Memorial Tournament on Saturday, winning a pair of games to improve to 4-0 in the tournament. The Eagles started the day with an 8-1 victory over Temple, and immediately followed that with a 14-4 thrashing of St. John’s.
Playing the first game of the day, the Eagles jumped out in front of Temple early, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings. Lauran Ziegler and Jessica Gary each singled to start the game, and after Jessica Paez popped out, Cheyenne Jenks launched her fourth home run of the year to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. In the second, Desiree Miller led off with a single, followed by a walk to Courtney Platt. After a wild pitch by Sarah Reynolds advanced the runners to second and third, Christa Piquette hit a ground ball to the shortstop who threw it away, allowing both Miller and Platt to score, and Piquette to get to second base. Later that inning, Jessica Gary came through with an RBI single, scoring Piquette, and giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead. FGCU would add a couple more in the sixth on RBI singles from Hayley O’Mara and Jessica Carter, and Catherine McDaniel pitched another strong game, improving to 4-0 in four starts this season. McDaniel allowed just one unearned run on five hits and a couple walks while striking out eight to pick up the win.
In the second game against St. John’s, the Eagles again got off to a quick start, scoring five runs in the top of the first. Lauran Ziegler led off with a walk, and Jessica Gary followed with a double down the left field line. With runners at second and third, St. John’s pitcher Kat Lawrence threw one to the backstop, allowing Ziegler to score and Gary to move over to third. After Jessica Paez struck out, Cheyenne Jenks singled to left, scoring Gary. Jessica Carter followed with a walk, and after Desiree Miller fouled out, Courtney Platt jacked one over the right-center field fence, her first home run of the year, giving the Eagles a 5-0 lead. In the second inning the Eagles scored a pair of unearned runs on one play. With Ziegler at first base, Jessica Gary slapped it to the third baseman, who threw it away. The throw sailed down the right field line, allowing both Ziegler and Gary to come all the way around and score. Taking a 7-1 lead into the third, the Eagles were still not satisfied. Desiree Miller led off the inning with a solo shot to center, her first of the year. Then the Eagles started to show some of the team speed that FGCU fans have come to expect. After Miller’s home run, FGCU drew three walks, reached on an error, and stole six bases, scoring four more runs. The only other hits in the inning were back-to-back doubles from Jessica Gary and Jessica Paez. In the circle, Dana Frantz got the start, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out two. Alexis Casey came on in relief, pitching the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing just one unearned run on one hit, striking out two.
The Eagles will wrap up the FIU Blue & Gold Felsburg Memorial Tournament tomorrow afternoon as they take on the host FIU Golden Panthers at 3:00 PM. FGCU opens up at home next weekend in the first of back-to-back tournaments to be played at the FGCU Softball Complex. The Eagles first game in next weekend’s FGCU Tournament is scheduled for 6:00 PM on Friday, February 20th, against Fairfield.