FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team split a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, winning game two 4-1 after falling 1-0 in the first game. Courtney Platt’s go-ahead 2-run home run was the big blow in the Eagles win.
FGCU (6-8) got another solid start from Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.), but the Eagles couldn’t solve Eastern Michigan’s Jenna Ignowski, falling 1-0 in the opening game. McDaniel pitched a complete game, gaving up just the one run on five hits, striking out five and walking none.
Eastern Michigan (4-3) got on the board early in game one, taking advantage of a defensive miscue to score the first run. Jessica Richards singled to lead off the game, and was immediately advance to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Lauren Delapaz. Jenny Scherer then popped out to second base, but the entire infield converged on the pop-up. With nobody covering third base, Richards moved up 60 feet. The next batter, Stacie Skodinski, singled to left field, scoring Richards.
The Eagles had multiple opportunities to score, leaving two runners on base in the second, third, and seventh innings. The seventh inning was their best chance, as FGCU had runners on second and third with only one out. However, Ignowski was able to strike out Brittany Baker (Summerfield, Fla.) and Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.), stranding the runners and handing the Blue and Green a 1-0 loss.
Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla.) and McDaniel were the only two Eagles to record hits off of Ignowski, though five different Eagles drew walks in the game.
Game two started in a nearly identical fashion, as EMU scored one run on three hits in the top of the first. Skodinski also picked up the RBI once again, this time scoring Sarah Gerber.
The Blue and Green would finally get on the scoreboard in the fourth inning of game two. Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) doubled to start the inning, and Platt (Greenville, Ohio) jacked a two-run home run just over the right-center field fence, giving the Eagles their first lead of the day.
FGCU tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tiffani Upchurch (Lake Wales, Fla.) singled home Platt with the third run, and Fernandez drove in Upchurch with a single through the right side, giving the Eagles a 4-1 lead.
Kelci Breaux, who pitched a complete game, retired Eastern Michigan in order in the top of the seventh to secure the 4-1 victory. Breaux gave up one run on six hits, walking three and striking out three.
Platt finished game two 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs, along with her third home run of the season.
The Eagles return to the FGCU Softball Complex on Thursday when they will host the Broncos of Western Michigan in a single game. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.