CLEARWATER, Fla. – Behind a double from freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City), the FGCU softball team picked up a, 1-0, win against Marshall at the USF Wilson-DeMarini Tournament on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles lost the second game of the day, 8-1, to host USF in the evening.
FGCU (1-3) broke a scoreless game in the top of the sixth inning beginning with freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) being hit by the pitch. Williams then stole second before Barnes’ double brought her home and gave the Eagles the 1-0 advantage.
With one out, Marshall’s Melissa Loesing hit a single to third base, but was unable to score for the Herd. Both teams remained scoreless in the seventh and FGCU picked up its first win against the Conference USA squad.
Redshirt senior pitcher Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Tech) completed the game by surrendering only three hits and tossing four strikeouts.
In game two, USF put a run on the board in the first inning. The Bulls continued to surge on the offense, tacking on two runs in the third and fifth inning to lead 5-0.
FGCU answered back with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) started the action off with a single to shortstop before Williams reached base on an error. With runners on first and second, Barnes singled to the pitcher on a bunt to load the bases. Atlantic Sun All-Conference preseason selection Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) hit a sacrifice fly to score Bembnowski and cut the lead to 5-1. USF’s pitcher Sara Nevins buckled down and struck the last two batters out to end the threat.
The Bulls answered back with five hits to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and take and 8-1 lead and close out the game.
Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) started in the circle for the Eagles allowing three runs in three innings with one strikeout. Senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) came in as relief, but did not fare much better allowing six hits and five runs in three innings. Barnes, Platt and Bembnowski each had a hit against Nevins.
The Eagles close out the tournament against Long Island at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Eagles beat the Blackbirds, 7-2, in the same tournament last year before falling, 4-1, at the FIU tournament the next weekend.