FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU’s offensive spark was all it needed to defeat Albany, 2-1, and down St. Francis, 12-0, on the final day of the Moe's Blue and Green Invite at the FGCU Softball Complex.
With the wins, FGCU improves to 5-9 on the season, while Albany, who began its season at the tournament, fell to 1-4 and St. Francis drops to 2-8.
Freshman Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) was 4-for-4 on the day with three runs scored and a walk. Classmate Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) and sophomore Mariah Fernández (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers) tallied three hits each, while three other Eagles had multi-hit showings. Lanier also had a team-high five RBI, while senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) had three.
In game one, freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City) blasted a triple to the right center wall, followed by Platt’s double to left center gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the first. Platt stole third on Garabedian’s walk, but the Great Danes retired the next two batters to end the threat.
Albany responded with a run of its own in the second inning as Platt could not reach a fly ball sent to the left line warning track. Jessica Bergin reached base on a double before a hard hit single to left field brought her home to tie the game, 1-1, in the second.
The Eagles pulled ahead to take the game in the six inning when Garabedian scored on illegal pitch. Garabedian reached on a base, stole second and advanced to third on senior Nicole Boswell’s (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) pinch hit.
Redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./State College of Florida) (2-4) got the start in the circle, pitching a complete game with four hits, one run, no walks and five strikeouts.
FGCU started things off quick in the second game, plating three runs off five hits in the first. Back-to-back singles from freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) and Barnes put two on for Platt’s double. Platt advanced to third on Garabedian’s single and a sacrifice fly scored Platt to give the Eagles’ a 3-0 lead.
The Blue and Green added two runs in the third to take a, 5-0, lead into the bottom of the third. With bases loaded, sophomore Erin Olson (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) sent a single just past the infield to plate Fernández, who reached on a single, and Garabedian, who was hit by the pitch.
In the fourth, the Eagles capitalized on the Red Flashes’ miscues to put Barnes and Platt on base. Fernández’ single up the middle scored Barnes and Lanier’s double to left center brought in Platt and Fernández. FGCU loaded the bases after a pitching change, but St. Francis buckled down to get the final two outs of the inning.
With run-rule a possibility, FGCU made it a sure thing with four more runs in the top of the fifth. A walk and three singles loaded the bases and once again, Lanier hit a single to score two. With the bases loaded and only one out, Boswell hit a sac fly to score Garabedian. The final run of the night was scored on a Red Flash throwing error from the short stop to score Lanier.
Senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) came in relief and struck out the final three batters of the game.
Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) (1-1) earned her first win in a year since returning from an injury, striking out one, while no runs on four hits and one walk in four innings of work.
FGCU now leaves the tournament circuit for a mid-week twin bill against Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex.
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.
Moe’s Blue and Green Invite Schedule/Results
Friday, Feb. 25
Southern Illinois 4, St. Francis 2
Eastern Michigan 6, UMBC 1
Southern Illinois 5, UMBC 1
Iowa 2, Albany 1
Iowa 11, FGCU 9
Albany 5, Eastern Michigan 4 (10)
Saturday, Feb. 26
Iowa 5, UMBC 1
Iowa 7, Eastern Michigan 0
UMBC 11, St. Francis 4
Southern Illinois 5, Albany 4 (8)
Southern Illinois 7, FGCU 1
St. Francis 2, Albany 1
Sunday Feb. 27
Eastern Michigan 8, UMBC 0 (5)
Southern Illinois 5, Iowa 1
FGCU 2, Albany 1
Eastern Michigan 7, St. Francis 6 (8)
FGCU 12, St. Francis 0 (5)