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FGCU Splits Opening Day of Diamond Devil Tournament
TEMPE, Ariz. – Behind two multi-run homers, the FGCU softball team downed Creighton, 8-2, in its opening game of the Diamond Devil Tournament at Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles dropped their second game, 11-1, to No. 7 Arizona State in five innings in the nightcap.
FGCU is now 10-14 on the season, heading into day two of the tournament. The Eagles play ACC foe Virginia Tech (14-5) at 1 p.m. and Howard (3-8) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
For the day, redshirt sophomore Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood) was 3-for-4 and earned a walk. Along with Green’s three hits, sophomore Mariah Fernández (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers) and freshman Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) also had three a piece to make up FGCU's 13 for the day .
The Eagles started off the day right, scoring four runs off two hits in the second inning. Green’s three-run shot to left center scored Fernández and Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake), reached base on a walk and hit by pitch, respectively. Despite a pitching change, Knapik hit a single and advanced to third on back-to-back walks before crossing home plate on a wild pitch to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead.
Creighton responded with a run of its own in the top of the third when an FGCU miscue allowed Malloree Grove to score. Grove reached on a single and advanced on a ground out before coming home on MaKenzie Michael’s single up the middle to close the lead to three, 4-1.
Fernández led off with a single in the third and stole second before Green earned a walk. Both runners advanced on a ground out and Knapik’s nicely placed single to right center plated both giving FGCU a 6-1 advantage.
Both teams were scoreless over the next two innings until Christa Ruf fired a solo-shot in the sixth inning for Creighton’s final run of the game.
The Eagles’ were not finished as freshman Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) hit a longball over the right center wall to also score sophomore Erin Olson (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) for two more runs. Olson pinch ran for freshman Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) who reached on a walk.
Redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Tech) (4-6) earned the win in the complete game, giving up seven hits, one earned run and one walk, while striking out five. Creighton went through three pitchers, but Kylie Hovinga got the loss, giving up three runs on two hits in one inning of work.
In game two, Arizona State struck hard and fast tacking on 11 runs in the first two innings on 11 hits. The Sun Devils scored four runs on five hits in the first inning. Katelyn Boyd’s three-run shot to center field started off the second inning. Arizona State added four more singles to its hit total and scored four runs for an 11-0 lead.
Senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) scored the Eagles’ lone run of the game with her first home run of the season to right field.
Senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) started for the second day in a row, taking the loss giving up 11 hits and walking two in two innings of work. Redshirt junior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern) came in relief and shut down the Sun Devils, giving up just one hit and one walk, while fanning two in two innings. Mackenzie Popescue (6-1) earned the win, striking out six batters and only giving up four hits.