2/12/2012 | Tampa, Fla. | Attendance: 720
2/12/2012 | Tampa, Fla. | Attendance: 233
TAMPA, Fla. – The FGCU softball team dropped a pair of contests against Illinois State, 11-0, and No. 2 Florida 5-0, on Sunday on the final day at the USF Tournament at the newly renovated USF Softball Stadium.
Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City) finished the USF Tournament hitting .500 with three runs scored and two RBI. Barnes picked up her fifth hit against No. 2 Florida in the 5-0 loss.
FGCU heads back to Fort Myers with a 2-3 record with victories over Long Island (W, 7-1) and Maine (W, 8-1).
In game one, the Eagles fell behind early as Illinois State scored four runs on three hits and two costly errors in the top of the first inning.
The Redbirds added four more runs on four hits, including a two-out two-run single from Illinois State’s Nichelle Harrison with the bases loaded. FGCU was put in an 8-0 hole after two innings as starting pitcher Britney Pugh (Pembroke Pines, Fla./St. Petersburg College) only finished an inning and two-thirds allowing five earned runs.
The Green and Blue’s Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) doubled to start the bottom of the fourth but the Eagles could not get the run across after two strikeouts and a foul out to third.
Illinois State plated three more runs in the top of the fifth with the big hit coming from Lizzie Andrews who hit a three-run homer to make the final 11-0 Redbirds. Illinois State’s Jordan Birch tossed a two-hit shutout and struck out 10 Eagles to improve to 3-0 on the season.
In game two, FGCU was hoping for an upset as the Eagles held the Gators scoreless through four innings. Freshman starting pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe HS) had No. 2 Florida guessing with six strikeouts, while only allowing one hit through four innings.
The Gators started the top of the fifth with a double down the line. FGCU’s Morgan induced a ground out but walked the next batter to set up runners at the corners for Florida’s Sami Fagan. Fagan singled through the left side and scored the first run of the game. After a line out, catcher Brittany Schutte singled up the middle for two more RBI to give Florida a 3-0 advantage. After a second walk of the inning, Kelsey Horton singled to knock Morgan out of the game.
Morgan (1-1) threw 4 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs with five walks and six strikeouts to take the loss for the Eagles.
Florida added one unearned run in the top of the sixth off a RBI double from Fagan after an FGCU error. FGCU had an opportunity in the bottom of the sixth when with one out sophomore Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) reached base after an error from the Gators. Barnes followed with a single to put runners on first and second. The Eagles couldn’t convert as back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
Florida’s preseason All-American pitcher Hanna Rogers earned her fourth win of the Tournament with a three-hit shutout, while striking out nine FGCU hitters.
The Green and Blue return home to host its first Tournament of the season on Feb. 17-19 as the Eagles welcome St. Louis, Boston College, Delaware, UT-Martin and Binghamton to the FGCU Softball Complex.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), results and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
USF-Fairfield Inn & Suites Tampa North Tournament Games (Final)
Friday, February 10
FGCU vs. USF, L, 4-2
Saturday February 11
FGCU vs. Long Island, W, 7-1
FGCU vs. Maine, W, 8-1
Sunday February 12
FGCU vs. Illinois State, L, 11-0
FGCU vs. No. 2 Florida, L, 5-0