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Softball Routs Santa Clara, Finishes Malihini Tourney 6-0
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The FGCU softball team finished up the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament with a perfect 6-0 record after defeating Santa Clara University on Sunday afternoon by a score of 11-1 in five innings. With the win, the Eagles extended their winning streak to 17 games.
FGCU wasted no time on Sunday, jumping all over Santa Clara in the top of the first inning. Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) reached on back-to-back walks to open the game, prompting a very early pitching change by Santa Clara. Facing a new pitcher, Jessica Paez (Belle Glade, Fla.) singled, loading the bases. Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.), coming off a 4-for-4 game against Radford the night before, put the Eagles out in front early with a grand slam to left field, her 14th home run of the season. Samantha Waldron (Plant City, Fla.) followed that up with a solo shot, her 6th home run of the year.
Santa Clara responded with a run in the bottom of the first, cutting the lead to 5-1 after an inning. The score remained 5-1 until the fourth inning, when the Eagles broke the game open. Christa Piquette (Barrington, R.I.) opened the inning with a single to right. Ziegler and Gary followed with singles of their own, loading the bases. Paez singled home Piquette, putting FGCU in front 6-1. After Jenks struck out and Waldron popped out, Jessica Carter (Ocala, Fla.) came through with a two-out, two-run double. After Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla.) walked to load the bases again, Desiree Miller (Hartville, Ohio) added to the lead with a pinch-hit bases clearing double. Cassidy Rash (Crystal River, Fla.) held the Santa Clara offense in check for the remainder of the game, and FGCU came away with an 11-1 victory.
Rash hurled her fourth complete game of the season, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out four, improving her record to 5-1. Jenks finished 1-for-3 with 4 RBIs, and the top three batters in the FGCU lineup, Ziegler, Gary, and Paez, each scored twice in the game.
The Eagles will be back in action participating at a tournament this weekend hosted by USF in Clearwater, Florida. The tournament begins on Friday, March 13th, and runs through Sunday, March 15th. Friday, FGCU takes on Ball State at 1:00 PM and Indiana at 4:00 PM. Saturday, the Eagles battle Hofstra at 11:00 AM and Brigham Young at 4:00 PM. FGCU will close out the tournament against nationally-ranked Massachusetts on Sunday at 10:00 AM.
2009 Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha All-Tournament Team
Paige Hall, Oregon State
Jessica Carter, Florida Gulf Coast
Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
Amanda Tauali`i, Hawai`i
Kristen Shifflett, Radford
Desiree Miller, Florida Gulf Coast
McKenna Lowe, Oregon State
Ka`ili Smith, Mississippi State
Leigh Godfrey, Radford
Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu, Hawai'i
Briana Knight, Santa Clara
Most Outstanding Pitcher
Kellie Snooks, Radford
Most Outstanding Player
Cheyenne Jenks, Florida Gulf Coast