KENNESAW, Ga. - The FGCU pitching staff held the Owls scoreless on Saturday afternoon as the Eagles swept Kennesaw State in an A-Sun Conference doubleheader at Bailey Park. The Eagles took the opener, 8-0, before winning game two, 4-0.
McDaniel (18-0), who leads the A-Sun in wins, held the Owls to just five hits and struck out eight on the day, pitching eight and two thirds innings.
In the opener, both teams remained scoreless through two innings until FGCU (40-6, 10-2 A-Sun) used a two-run third inning to take the lead. With one out, Christa Piquet (Barrington, R.I.) was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.), Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) and Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.) followed with consecutive singles to give the Eagles a two-run lead.
The Owls (15-16, 2-4 A-Sun) picked up their only hit of the game in the bottom of the frame with a single to center field by Lyndsay McCurry.
FGCU turned up the offensive heat, scoring five runs off of four hits in the fourth inning, beginning with a Samantha Waldron (Plant City, Fla.) homerun to right-center field to lead off the inning. With two outs, Piquette and Ziegler singled before Jessica Paez Belle Glade, Fla.) hit her 14th homerun of the season, a three-run shot to right field. KSU then brought Amanda Burns in relief for and she forced a ground out to end the inning.
Florida Gulf Coast ended the game in the fifth inning when they took the 8-0 lead after Desiree Miller (Hartville, Ohio) doubled to score Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla.), who walked earlier in the inning.
In game two, KSU pitcher April Harper held the Eagles hitless until two outs in the top of the fourth inning when Jenks, who leads the conference in homeruns with 21, blasted a solo homerun to left field.
The Owls had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the frame when Jacki Warren reached on an error, Hollie Huffman followed with a single and Jamie KeKaualua walked to load the bases. The Eagles then brought in senior Dana Frantz from the bullpen and she retired the final batter to keep the Owls scoreless.
After a scoreless fifth inning, FGCU capped off the game's scoring with a three-run sixth inning, highlighted by a three-run home run to center field by Platt, the fourth of the day for the Eagles.
Frantz held Kennesaw State to just one hit over the final two innings to secure the sweep and earn her 11th win of the season. Harper took the loss for the Owls.
The Blue and Green return to action for non-conference action on Wednesday, April 15 when they host the Golden Panthers of FIU. The first game of the doubleheader begins at 5 p.m.