FORT MYERS, Fla. – A one-hitter in game one from redshirt senior Catherine McDaniel (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Tech) and multiple runs scattered across three innings in the nightcap gave the FGCU softball team a pair of victories in its final games of the season, beating Atlantic Sun rival Stetson by scores of 1-0 and 7-0 on Friday at the FGCU Softball Complex.
FGCU closes out the season with a 31-25 record and a 14-6 mark in the conference to currently sit in third place, while Stetson drops to 19-27 overall and 4-12 in the A-Sun.
McDaniel (16-10) tossed a complete game one-hitter, while striking out six and giving up one walk in the final game of her career. In game two, McDaniel inherited two runners in the sixth inning, but recorded three straight outs to earn the save.
In the opener, freshman Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) had an RBI-single down the left line, scoring classmate Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) from second in what would be the game-winning run. Garabedian reached on a walk before advancing on a single to left field.
The first seven batters in the FGCU lineup registered a hit with freshman Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony) leading the way going 2-for-2.
Despite leaving 10 FGCU runners stranded, Stetson’s starter Meredith Owen (7-12) got tagged with the loss, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings. Relief pitcher Courtney Gunby had one inning of work, striking out all three.
In game two, the teams were scoreless until with two Eagles on base, a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position. FGCU capitalized on another wild pitch on an intentional walk to score the first run of the game. With a runner now on third, a nicely placed single from sophomore Chelsea Yates (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) pushed across one across for the 2-0 lead.
Lanier hit a two-RBI single up the middle to plate senior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) and Bembnowski for the 4-0 lead in the fifth. Platt reached on a walk and advanced to third on Bembnowski’s single down the right field line.
In the sixth inning, Stetson threatened with runners on second and third with no outs, but a great double play by shortstop Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) and a final strikeout from relief pitcher McDaniel left the runner on third.
The Eagles pushed their lead to seven on Garabedian’s three-run homer to left field in the bottom of the frame. Redshirt sophomore Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood) reached on a single before advancing to third on a pair of wild pitches, while freshman Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon) drew a walk.
Sophomore Stephanie Sullivan (Venice, Fla./Venice) (7-6) went 2.1 innings giving up one hit, while fanning one for the win, while senior Kelci Breaux (Okeechobee, Fla./Brevard CC) started the final game of her career, giving up just one hit and two walks in 2.1 innings of work.
Stetson starter Camille Czarnecki (9-8) got the loss surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks in 3.2 innings of work.
In the final inning, senior Nicole Boswell (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) took the field for the last out of the game.
Despite its finish in the conference, FGCU cannot compete in the conference postseason tournament due to the NCAA reclassifying period. The Eagles will be eligible for postseason play in 2012.