CLEARWATER, Fla. – The FGCU softball team wrapped up the USF Under Armour Showcase tournament with a 4-2 loss to Penn State on Sunday morning at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla. Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) hit a 2-run home run in the first inning, but the Eagles did not record a hit for the remainder of the game.
The Blue and Green (11-14) dented the scoreboard early, taking a 2-0 lead just two batters into the game. Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.) walked on four pitches to lead off the top of the first, and Gary followed with a 2-run home run over the right field fence. That would be the first and last hit of the day for FGCU.
The Nittany Lions (16-7) tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Both runs came with two outs, the first on a wild pitch, and the second on a single from Cassidy Bell.
With the scored tied at two after three innings, neither team was able to mount any sort of offensive threat until the sixth inning. A pair of walks provided an opportunity for the Eagles in the top half of the sixth, but Jackie Hill induced a pair of pop-ups to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, two of the first three batters singled, putting runners on first and third with one out. Danee Collett laced a double that short-hopped the fence in right center, scoring both runners to give the Nittany Lions a 4-2 lead.
Hill struck out the side in the seventh to secure the 4-2 victory for Penn State. Hill allowed just one hit in the game, pitching her third complete game win in the last two days.
Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.) took the loss for the Eagles, falling to 5-7 on the year. McDaniel allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out six.
Gary finished 1-for-2 with her fifth home run of the season, the only hit of the day for FGCU.
The Eagles land back at home on Thursday (Mar. 18) when they host a single game against Drake. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex.