FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team opened a six-game homestand with a pair of wins over the Dartmouth Big Green on Tuesday night at the FGCU Softball Complex. Wearing special pink jerseys for Think Pink night, the Eagles took game one, 7-1, and game two, 5-0. With the wins, FGCU improves to 13-19 on the year, while Dartmouth drops to 1-12.
After two scoreless frames, the Blue and Green got on the board in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Lauran Ziegler (Palm Bay, Fla.) singled through the left side. Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) followed with a double deep to left-center field, scoring Ziegler. Courtney Platt (Greenville, Ohio) gave the home team a 2-0 lead with a base hit, scoring Gary.
The Big Green answered with a run of their own in the top of the fourth, but a great defensive play from Gary to cut down a run at the plate helped prevent any further damage. Dartmouth left the bases loaded with FGCU still in the lead, 2-1.
The Eagles broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate. Platt opened the inning with a solo home run to right field, giving FGCU a 3-1 lead. Erin Olson (Naples, Fla.) made it 5-1 with a two-run single, and Nicole Boswell (Jacksonville, Fla.) added another run with a sacrifice fly. Gary’s RBI single was the final tally of the inning, giving the Blue and Green a 7-1 advantage, which would be the final score.
Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla.) picked up the win, improving to 6-9 with a complete game effort. McDaniel allowed one run on five hits, walking two and striking out five.
Gary, Platt, and Olson each collected two hits and two RBIs, while seven different Eagles scored one run apiece.
In game two, Hayley O’Mara (Naples, Fla.) doubled home Gary to open the scoring in the bottom of the first, giving FGCU a 1-0 lead.
The score held at 1-0 until the fourth inning, when the Eagles sent eight batters to the plate, scoring four times. After Tiffani Upchurch (Lake Wales, Fla.) singled to start the inning, Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla.) tripled to right-center, scoring Upchurch. Olson followed with a single, scoring Fernandez. A sac bunt moved Olson to second, and a base hit by Brittany Baker (Summerfield, Fla.) scored her. The Eagles tacked on another run on a throwing error, extending the lead to 5-0.
FGCU’s pitching tandem of Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla.) and Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla.) kept the Big Green off of the scoreboard for the final three frames, finishing off the shutout in a 5-0 victory.
Breaux pitched six strong innings for the win, improving to 4-6 on the season. Breaux allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out three. Sullivan gave up only a walk in pitching a scoreless a seventh inning.
Olson picked up a pair of hits and an RBI in the game, while O’Mara, Fernandez, and Baker each recorded one hit and one RBI. As in game one, five different Eagles scored a run in game two.
The Eagles return to the FGCU Softball Complex on Thursday (Mar. 25) when they host a doubleheader against A-Sun foe Jacksonville. First pitch for game one is slated for 5 p.m.