MIAMI, Fla. – The FGCU softball team lost both of their games on Saturday at the Blue and Gold Felsburg Memorial Tournament hosted by FIU. Wisconsin scored a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to claim a 5-4 win over the Eagles and Bethune-Cookman took advantage of three FGCU errors to defeat the Blue and Green, 3-1.
In game one, Jordan Skinner’s two-out, two-run single put the Badgers up 2-0 in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) blasted a solo home run to left-center field to cut the deficit to one. Courtney Platt (Greenville, Ohio) would score on a passed ball later in the inning to tie the game at two.
The Eagles would take the lead in the third thanks to a two-out, two-run double from freshman Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla.), giving FGCU a 4-2 lead after three innings.
Wisconsin cut the lead to one in the fourth, using three hits and a sacrifice bunt to score a run. FGCU second baseman Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla.) kept the Badgers from tying the game when she threw out a runner at the plate on a one-out ground ball, allowing the Eagles to maintain a one-run (4-3) lead after four innings.
The Blue and Green would maintain a 4-3 lead until the top of the seventh inning. Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla.) came on in relief to start the inning and allowed a hit and a walk before being replaced by Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.), who had pitched the first six innings. With two outs, Karla Powell reached on an infield single that scored Whitney Massey with the tying run.
The Badgers would complete the comeback when Whitney Soderberg singled home the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning. Letty Olivarez shut down FGCU’s bats, holding the Eagles to just two hits over the final five innings, securing the 5-4 victory for Wisconsin.
Fernandez finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Gary was 1-for-2 with a home run and two runs scored.
McDaniel took the loss, falling to 1-2 on the season. McDaniel allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 7.2 innings, walking one and striking out six. Olivarez picked up the win for the Badgers, pitching 4.1 scoreless innings in relief.
The Eagles took an early lead in game two, as Platt’s single scored Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.) with nobody out in the top of the first. Unfortunately, FGCU would leave the bases loaded, holding a slim 1-0 lead after one inning.
Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla.) held Bethune-Cookman scoreless through the first four innings, but the Wildcats would break through in the bottom of the fifth. Joanna Hernandez reached on an error by second baseman Erin Olson (Naples, Fla.) to open the inning. Three batters later, Ashton Hinds singled home B-CU’s first run. Hinds then stole second and third, and would score on a single by Aurelia Gamch, giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.
Bethune-Cookman tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, scoring on a bases-loaded passed ball. The Wildcats’ Allison Garcia set the Eagles down in order in the top of the seventh, giving B-CU a 3-1 win.
Ziegler finished the game 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base. Breaux took the loss, lowering her record to 1-2 on the season. Breaux allowed three unearned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings, fanning three without a walk. Garcia pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits, walking two and striking out seven.
The Eagles wrap up the Blue and Gold Felsburg Memorial Tournament with a pair of games tomorrow at the FIU Softball Complex. FGCU will battle Long Island at 1 p.m. before clashing with tournament host FIU at 3 p.m.