FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team got back in the win column Friday night with a 5-3 victory over the University of Connecticut in the Eagles’ second game of the FGCU Spring Break Invitational. Lauran Ziegler, Hayley O’Mara, and Jessica Gary all scored once and drove in a run.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 3-7 on the season, while UConn drops to 0-2. Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla.) pitched two shutout innings in relief to pick up the win, her first decision of the season. Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla.) got the start, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings of work.
The Huskies, who were the home team for the game, took the lead in the bottom of the first. Julianne Towers led off with a double and would come around to score on a sacrifice fly, giving Connecticut a 1-0 lead.
The Blue and Green would take advantage of a couple UConn miscues to get on the board in the top of the fourth. Gary (Naples, Fla.) led off with a single and stole second base. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Kim Silva.
With the score tied at one, FGCU scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning. O’Mara (Naples, Fla.) delivered the big blow, lacing a triple to wall in right-center, scoring Ziegler to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Gary drove in O’Mara with a sac fly to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Huskies would answer right back, scoring twice in the bottom of the frame. After back-to-back walks to open the inning, both runners advanced 60 feet on a passed ball. Silva then singled up the middle, scoring both runners to tie the game at three.
In the top of the seventh, the Eagles put together a two-out rally to take the lead once and for all. After the first two batters were retired, Nicole Boswell (Jacksonville, Fla.) drew a walk. Brittany Baker (Summerfield, Fla.) followed with a double, setting up runners on second and third. Ziegler singled through the left side, scoring pinch-runner Gina Galvin (Orlando, Fla.). After O’Mara walked to load the bases, a passed ball allowed Baker to score from third to give the Blue and Green a 5-3 lead. The Eagles would go on to win by that same score.
Five different Eagles picked up a hit, including Baker and Tiffani Upchurch (Lake Wales, Fla.). Nicole Boswell finished the game 0-for-0 with three walks.
The FGCU Spring Break Invitational continues tomorrow, with FGCU taking on Villanova at 6 p.m. The first game features Georgia Southern vs. Connecticut at 9 a.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex.