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FGCU Wins Two at Campbell to Open A-Sun Play
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – On a cold and rainy afternoon, the FGCU softball team picked up two Atlantic Sun wins by scores of 9-1 and 3-2 to sweep Campbell on Saturday afternoon at the Eakes Athletic Complex.
With the wins, FGCU improves to 19-17 and more importantly 2-0 in the A-Sun. Campbell falls to 16-17 and 2-2 in conference action. The Eagles are now on a four-game winning streak and have won nine out of their last 11 games.
Senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) and freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) batted .500 on the day. Platt had four hits with three runs scored, while Williams had three hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Sophomore Mariah Fernández (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers) had six RBI thanks to a triple and home run in game one. Freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Park, Fla./Haines City) was the other Eagle to have a multi-hit day.
In the first game, the Eagles took the lead in the first inning and never looked back. Platt led off with a single before moving to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) then fired off her fourth longball of the season to make it 2-0.
Campbell scored its lone run in the second inning on Katie Hinton’s solo shot to left field.
Both teams were held scoreless through the next three innings before FGCU tallied three more runs in the fifth. Back-to-back singles from Williams and Platt put runners on first and second before Fernández blasted a home run to center field to clear the bases and push the lead to 5-1.
The Blue and Green were not finished as they stretched their lead to 9-1 in the top of the seventh. Freshman Regan Knapik (Land O'Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) reached on a walk before being replaced by sophomore Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) on first. Williams’ bunt single advanced Yates before Platt’s fourth hit of the game loaded the bases. Fernández then fired a triple to right center to score three runs before she scored on a Campbell miscue.
Redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Tech) (8-8) picked up the win, allowing just six hits, while fanning five with no walks in the complete game. Campbells Brittany Arnn started and went 4.1 innings with six strikeouts and no walks, while surrendering four hits and three runs. In game two, the Campbell offense jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Lauren Stephan’s two-run home run.
Campbell’s 2-0 advantage held until the fourth inning when the Eagles plated Barnes on a Camel miscue. Barnes reached on a one-out single before sophomore Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) reached on a fielding error. On the play, the right fielder overthrew third base, allowing Barnes to race around the bases and score the first run of the game.
FGCU, again aided by a Campbell error, pushed two across in the sixth to take the 3-2 advantage. Barnes opened the inning with a bunt single before stealing second. She scored on a fielding error on Knapik’s single to left field. Yates once again replaced Knapik on base and scored on Williams’ second triple of the season.
Campbell tried to rally in the seventh as a walk put the tying run on base, but senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) (6-5) quickly retired the next two batters to keep the win.
Breaux gave up three hits while striking out 10 with just one walk in the complete game win. Campbell starting pitcher Christina Melton took the loss, giving up six hits while fanning 10 in 6.1 innings. Katie Woodcock pitched both games, allowing six runs (five earned) in two innings with three strikeouts.
FGCU takes a break from A-Sun action to play its final non-conference games of the season in a mid-week match up against in-state rival, FIU. The doubleheader is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the FGCU Softball Complex. Live stats and in-game Twitter (@FGCUEagles) will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com