FORT MYERS, Fla. – Despite taking an early lead, the FGCU softball team stranded six runners on base as it fell to BIG EAST foe Villanova, 5-2, on the final day of the Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Tournament on sunny Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles went 1-4 for in the tournament, dropping their record to 3-7 on the young season. Villanova, who opened its season at the tournament, improved to 2-3.
Freshman Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) gave FGCU an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. As the leadoff batter, Garabedian stepped to the plate and blasted her second collegiate home run over the left center wall. The Eagles then loaded the bases with only one out, but pitcher Caitlyn Delahaba and the Villanova defense buckled down and got the last two batters of the inning.
Villanova responded in the fourth, plating four runs on five hits for a 4-1 advantage. The Wildcats could have done more damage, leaving three on base, but redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) stepped in the circle with one out and recorded the final two ground outs of the inning.
The Wildcats tacked on one extra run in the fifth beginning with a Kristi Burlin double. The Wildcats capitalized on back-to-back errors by the Eagles to score Burlin.
FGCU plated a run in the bottom of the fifth after freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) singled through the left side and scored on Kirsten Bembnowski’s (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) single to center field. Bembnowski reached third, but the FGCU offense was stifled once again, giving Villanova a three-run lead.
Senior pitcher Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./ Brevard CC) (0-1) earned the loss, giving up four hits, three runs and four walks, while striking out two in 3.1 innings. Campen gave up two hits and a run in 3.2 innings in the circle. Caitlyn Delahaba (1-2) earned the win, surrendering four hits and one run, while fanning three in 5.2 innings of work.
FGCU is back at home on February 25 for the Moe’s Blue and Green Invite. FGCU plays Iowa on Friday and Southern Illinois on Saturday, both at 6 p.m. The Eagles close out the tournament against Albany (1:30 p.m.) and St. Francis (6 p.m.) on Sunday.
Live stats, box scores and recaps for every FGCU contest as well as the other tournament games are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com. Live updates of FGCU’s games can also be followed on www.twitter.com/FGCUEagles.
Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn FGCU TOURNAMENT Results
Friday, Feb. 18
Saint Louis 5, Villanova 4
Villanova 2, South Carolina 1
Michigan State 9, Saint Louis 0 (5)
South Carolina 10, Georgetown 2 (5)
FGCU 10, Georgetown 0
Michigan State 12, FGCU 3 (6)
Saturday, Feb. 19
Georgetown 3, Saint Louis 2
Michigan State 3, Georgetown 1
Michigan State 1, Villanova 0
South Carolina 5, Villanova 4
Saint Louis 2, FGCU 0
South Carolina 2, FGCU 0
Sunday, Feb. 20
Saint Louis 7, Georgetown
Villanova 5, FGCU 2
South Carolina 11, Michigan State 3 (6)