FORT MYERS, Fla. – Led by back-to-back home runs in the second inning, the FGCU softball team defeated St. Francis, 9-1, in five innings in its opening game of the Stevens Industries FGCU Tournament on Friday afternoon. The Eagles fell in game two to UT-Martin, 1-0, in eight innings in the second game.
FGCU is now 6-12 on the season, heading into Saturday’s contests against Colgate at 6 p.m. and Dartmouth at 8:15 p.m.
Leading the Eagles’ offense, freshman Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) went 4-for-5 on the day, including a home run and double. Classmate Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) stepped up with three hits, including a double and home run as well.
FGCU started things off quick in game one with back-to-back home runs from Garabedian and Lanier, giving the Eagles a, 2-0, lead in the second inning.
With freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) on base, the Eagles had back-to-back singles, followed by sophomore Mariah Fernández’ (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers) triple down the right field line to score three runs, giving FGCU a 5-0 lead in the third inning.
The Blue and Green tacked on two more runs in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage in the top of the fourth. Redshirt sophomore Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) walked before advancing on a sacrifice bunt and Williams’ single up the middle. With both runners in scoring position, Gabel was able to score on a foul out and advance Williams to third. Senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) then singled to right field, plating Williams for the seven-run lead.
St. Francis got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Heather Stiglich doubled to left center to score Chelsea Cosentino, bringing the score to 7-1.
FGCU closed out the game in the top of the sixth, adding two more runs to ensure the run-rule win. Platt reached on a single and scored on Lanier’s double. Freshman Kirsten Bembnowski’s (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) single to left field plated sophomore Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), who pinch ran for Lanier, to give the Eagles’ the eight-run difference and the game.
Senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) picked up her first win of the season, allowing just three hits, a walk and one run, while fanning two in four innings of work. Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) came in relief, giving up no hits and striking out two in two innings.
Game two was scoreless until the eighth inning. UT-Martin threatened in the third, fourth and seventh innings with a runner at third in each inning, but the FGCU defense was able to get out of the jam every time.
FGCU’s best chance came in the seventh inning on Garabedian’s double to left field. Unfortunately, clutch pitching from Chelsea Jones, who tallied 13 strikeouts on the day, struck out the final batter of the inning sending it to extras.
With a runner placed on second due to the international tie breaker, Laurie Lindow’s single to left field scored Megan Latimer who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt.
Redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Tech) (2-6) earned the loss in eight innings of work, giving up six hits and one walk, while striking out two.
Tickets for the Stevens Industries FGCU Tournament 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. All Tournament passes, valid for all games during the tournament, will be $10 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 3-18). FGCU students, faculty and staff get in free of charge with an Eagle ID.
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.
Fri. Mar. 4
St. Francis 13, Dartmouth 4 (6)
UT-Martin 2, Colgate 1 (9)
Colgate 6, Dartmouth 1
FGCU 9, St. Francis 1 (6)
UT-Martin 1, FGCU 0 (8)
Sat. Mar. 5
St. Francis vs. St. John’s, 9:00 a.m.
UT-Martin vs. St. Francis, 11:15 a.m.
St. John’s vs. Colgate, 1:30 p.m.
Dartmouth vs. UT-Martin, 3:45 p.m.
Colgate vs. FGCU, 6:00 p.m.
FGCU vs. Dartmouth, 8:15 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 6
St. John’s vs. UT-Martin, 9:00 a.m.
Colgate vs. Dartmouth, 11:15 a.m.
FGCU vs. St. John's, 1:30 p.m.