3/9/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 205
3/9/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 195
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Highlighted by two shutouts, the FGCU softball team went 2-0 against BIG EAST foe Georgetown, 4-0, and PAC-12 opponent Utah, 2-0, on the first day of the LaQuinta Inn & Suites FGCU Spring Break Tournament on Friday night.
The sweep for the Eagles improves its record to 11-13, as Georgetown falls to 8-13 and Utah drops to 16-4, who earned nine votes in the USA Today/NFCA rankings and one vote in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll this past week.
In game one, FGCU received a gem from freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe HS) who threw a six-hit complete game shutout with seven strikeouts against BIG EAST foe Georgetown to earn her seventh win of the season.
In the top of the fifth, sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) smoked a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field to break open a 1-0 game, giving FGCU a 4-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Lanier finished 2-for-3 with four RBI.
The top of the lineup went a combined 6-for-10 with four runs scored and four RBI to pace the team. Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City) was the table setter with a 2-for-3 effort, including two doubles and her seventh stolen bases of the season. Freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) had two hits and two runs scored at the No. 2 hole spot.
The Green and Blue scored their first run in the top of the third when Carpenter singled to the third basemen and advanced to second off a stolen base. Lanier roped a two-out RBI single up the middle to plate Carpenter.
In the nightcap, FGCU held on for a 2-0 victory over PAC-12 member Utah (16-4) after getting out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh. The Utes used back-to-back singles and a walk to make the bases loaded with no outs. Relief pitcher Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) proceeded to get the next three hitters out on a foul out to first, a force out from third to home and a fly out to centerfield to end the game and preserve the win for the Eagles. Campen picked up her first save of the season and held sophomore Amanda Josie’s (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) stellar pitching effort. Josie earned her second win of the season after throwing 5.1 innings allowing no earned runs, just six hits and striking out three Utah’ batters.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) worked a walk, followed by another walk to classmate Kayla Ramey (Fort Myers, Fla./N. Fort Myers HS/Seminole State College). As Ramey earned the fourth ball, Fernandez was advancing to second when Utah’s catcher Shay Wallace fired a ball to centerfield, allowing Fernandez to score off a two-base throwing error.
The Green and Blue would add an important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as junior Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) lined a clutch two-out single to left field to score Fernandez, who reached on a fielder’s choice earlier in the inning.
The Eagles finished with five hits in the game as Gabel, Barnes, Carpenter, sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) and classmate Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) each had a hit.
FGCU’s defense was spectacular in the game as sophomore Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) made eight assists at shortstop, along with Ramey’s four at third base. One of the biggest plays of the game came in the top of the fourth when Utah strung together three-straight singles with two outs. Katelyn Elliot singled to right field as her teammate Whitney Holm rounded third only to be nailed at the plate by the Eagles’ Fernandez to keep the game scoreless.
The Green and Blue return to the field on Sunday to play Colgate and Stony Brook at 1:30 and 3:45, respectively, on the final day of the tournament.
Live stats, box scores, Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), and recaps for every FGCU contest as well as the other tournament games are available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
FGCU- LaQuinta Inn & Suites Spring Break Tournament Games
*Games played at the FGCU Softball Complex
Friday, March 9
Stony Brook 13, Howard 1 (5 innings)
St. Francis 4, Howard (8 innings)
Stony Brook 10, St. Franics 3
Utah 5, Georgetown 1
FGCU 4, Georgetown 0
FGCU 2, Utah 0
Saturday, March 10
St. Francis vs. Georgetown, 9 a.m.
Colgate vs. St. Francis, 11:15 a.m.
Georgetown vs. Howard, 1:30 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. Colgate, 3:45 p.m.
Howard vs. Utah, 6:00 p.m.
Utah vs. Stony Brook, 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, March 11
Colgate vs. Howard, 9 a.m.
Georgetown vs. Stony Brook, 11:15 a.m.
FGCU vs. Colgate, 1:30 p.m.
FGCU vs. Stony Brook, 3:45 p.m.