FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off back-to-back wins to close out the weekend, the FGCU softball team prepares for a doubleheader against visiting Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex.
FGCU owns a 5-9 overall record, while EMU is 3-2 after opening its season at the Moe’s Blue and Green Invite last weekend. The Eagles went 2-2 at the same tournament, falling to Iowa, 11-9, and Southern Illinois, 7-1, before beating Albany, 2-1, and St. Francis, 12-0, in five innings during the night cap.
Freshman shortstop Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) once again led the team over the weekend, batting .600 on six hits and an RBI, while earning three walks. Classmate Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) found her offensive rhythm as well, tallying four hits and seven RBI, including her first collegiate home run.
The FGCU lineup totaled eight extra-base hits, led by two doubles from senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) and home runs from Lanier, freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City) and redshirt sophomore Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood). Freshman Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) and Garabedian had team-high on base percentages (.714). Bembnowski went 5-for-9 and earned four walks.
Redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./State College of Florida) (2-4) boasts the team’s best ERA with a 1.93. She has given up 10 earned runs in 36.1 innings of work, while striking out a team-best 25. Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) (1-1) earned her first victory since returning from an injury, striking out one, while giving up four hits and one walk in four innings of work against St. Francis.
Jenna Ignowski (2-1) is EMU’s top pitcher, making an appearance in all five games over the weekend. She owns a 0.79 ERA, giving up 11 hits and only two runs, while striking out 18 in 17.2 innings of work. Sarah Gerber tops the Eagles’ offense with a .438 average with seven hits, including a double.
FGCU owns a 3-1 record against visiting EMU. The teams split their doubleheader last season, as Eastern Michigan picked up a, 1-0, win in the first game before falling, 4-1, in the night cap.
FGCU hosts the Stevens Industries FGCU Tournament beginning on Friday, March 4. The Eagles play St. Francis (4:45 p.m.) and UT-Martin (6 p.m.) on Friday before facing Colgate (6 p.m.) and Dartmouth (8:15 p.m.) on Saturday. A game against the BIG EAST’S St. John’s closes out the tournament at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets for the game can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets. FGCU students, faculty and staff get in free of charge with an Eagle ID.
Current students attending the game will be eligible to win $600 if an FGCU player hits the Self Insured Plans (SIP) sign on the outfield wall in the air or hits a ball over the sign. FGCU will be running this “Diamond Dollars” promotion throughout the entire season. If the game finishes without a winner, the money rolls over to the next day continuing to increase the pot by $100 each day. Winners must have a valid FGCU student ID and be present to win.
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.