FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team will kick off conference play on Wednesday when they host the Kennesaw State Owls in a doubleheader at the FGCU Softball Complex. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 5 p.m.
The Eagles (9-11) are coming off of a 2-3 showing over the weekend at the Under Armour Invitational hosted by USF in Clearwater, Fla. The Blue and Green dropped a pair of close games on Friday, losing to Penn State, 4-3, and falling to Fordham, 6-5. Saturday the offense came alive, run-ruling Austin Peay, 10-0 in five innings, before thumping Villanova, 15-8. Sunday was the polar opposite, as St. Joseph’s shut out the Eagles, 4-0.
The Blue and Green are led by senior leadoff hitter Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.), who leads the team and ranks in the top ten in the Atlantic Sun in batting average (.373, eighth), hits (25, second), runs scored (18, third), and stolen bases (13, first). Courtney Platt (Greenville, Ohio) and Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) are tied for second on the team in batting average (.352) and doubles (five). Platt leads the team and is second in the A-Sun with five home runs while Gary leads FGCU with 15 RBIs.
In the circle, Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.) owns a 4-5 record with a 3.35 ERA, while Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla.) currently is 3-4 with one save and a 3.26 ERA. Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla.) has been effective both as a reliever and a starter, collecting a 2-2 record with one save and a 2.82 ERA.
The Owls (12-5) recorded a 4-1 record at last weekend’s Buzz Classic hosted by Georgia Tech in Woodstock, Ga. Kennesaw State split on Friday, losing to Liberty, 8-5, before beating Tennessee-Martin, 5-3. On Saturday, the Owls knocked off Seton Hall, 6-1. KSU picked up two more wins on the final day of the tournament, shutting out Akron, 2-0, and pounding Western Carolina, 10-1.
Kennesaw State has been strong offensively, ranking second in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, RBIs, and home runs. Sophomore Jessica Cross has been solid at the plate, leading the A-Sun with six home runs and 18 RBIs, to go along with a .340 batting average. Cross has also done well in the circle, racking up a 6-1 record with a 1.14 ERA, the fourth-lowest in the conference.
Game one of the doubleheader is slated for 5 p.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex.