FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team had three home runs in its two games to power past Colgate, 4-1, and Dartmouth, 6-2, on the second day of the Stevens Industries FGCU Tournament at the FGCU Softball Complex on Saturday.
With the victories, the Eagles improve to 8-12 on the season heading into their final game of the tournament against the BIG EAST’S St. John’s on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Freshman Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) led the offensive surge for FGCU, going 3-for-4 with a home run, her second in as many days. Classmates Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City) also hit their fourth and third home runs of the season, respectively.
Garabedian fired off her second home run in as many games, with a two-run shot to right center field to start a three-run first inning against Colgate. She scored Barnes, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Redshirt sophomore Kayla Gabel’s (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) single down the right line plated freshman Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake), who reached on a fielder’s choice, to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
FGCU added its final run off a double to left field from senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast), scoring freshman Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) who reached on a Colgate error, for a 4-0 lead.
Colgate’s Jennifer Ortega scored on Nicole Siedhof’s single to center field in the seventh inning. Ortega reached base on a double.
Sophomore Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla./Venice) (3-2) went the distance, allowing just three hits and one run.
In the second game, Barnes fired off a two-run homer to give FGCU a 2-0 lead in the first inning. FGCU tacked on another run in the third when Lanier hit a solo-shot over the left field wall for a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.
Dartmouth put two runs on the board in the fourth after a double from Molly Kahlil scored Alex St. Romain. Kahlil crossed the plate on Kara Curosh’s single to right field to come within one, 3-2.
The Big Green almost closed the gap in the fifth inning when it loaded the bases with two outs, but relief pitcher senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) struck out the final batter to keep the lead.
In the fifth inning, Gabel’s sacrifice fly to left field gave pinch runner sophomore Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) enough time to tag up for a 4-2 lead. Yates was running for Lanier who was intentionally walked.
Breaux struck out three straight in the top of the inning before FGCU secured the win with two more runs in the sixth. With runners on first and second, Barnes beat out a bunt to load the bases. Lanier grounded out, but scored Knapik and Platt later scored on a wild pitch.
Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) earned the win, giving up five hits and two runs, while fanning two in four innings of work. Breaux picked up her first save of the season, striking out six in three innings of work.
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. 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. John's 11, St. Francis 3 (6)
UT-Martin 5, St. Francis 2
Colgate 2, St. John’s 1
Dartmouth 4, UT-Martin 3
FGCU 4, Colgate 1
FGCU 6, Dartmouth 2
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.