3/16/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 46
3/16/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 45
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The FGCU softball team defeated BIG EAST member Rutgers, 5-2, and dropped a tough one-run game to Northern Colorado, 2-1, on Friday night at the USF The Game Tournament at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
The Eagles are 15-15 on the season, while Rutgers falls to 8-12 and Northern Colorado improves to 10-12. The Green and Blue have won six of their last eight games entering Saturday’s match ups against UNC-Wilmington (1:45 p.m.) and Fairfield (6:15 p.m.).
In game one, the Eagles used a three-run third inning to pull away from Rutgers and held on for a 5-2 victory. Freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) went the distance for her 10th win of the season and ninth complete game. Morgan allowed five hits on one earned run with six strikeouts.
The Green and Blue added a run in the bottom of the second as junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) opened the frame with a single to second base, followed by a single from sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Redshirt junior Lindsey Green (Bowling Green, Ky./Greenwood HS) scored Fernandez with a sacrifice fly to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, the Scarlett Knights tied the game at 1-1 when Brittney Lindley roped a two-out RBI single through the right side, but Fernandez threw out Lindsey Curran at third base to end the threat.
In the bottom of the third, junior Kayla Ramey (Fort Myers, Fla./North Fort Myers HS/Seminole State College) singled up the middle to start the inning. Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) reached on a fielder’s choice, followed by a double over the head of the first baseman for freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS). Sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) worked a walk to load the bases for classmate Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) who hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Barnes. With two outs, Bembnowski laced a two-run single to give FGCU a 4-1 lead.
Rutgers cut into the lead by scoring a run in the top of the fourth when Ashley Alden singled on a bunt to start the inning. Jennifer Harabedian reached on a fielder’s choice as Alden was out on a force out. Harabedian advanced to third on another fielder’s choice and scored on a stolen base as the Eagles couldn’t convert a run down from first to second.
FGCU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Barnes singled and stole second base to start the frame. Barnes moved to third after a sacrifice bunt from Carpenter and scored off a wild pitch to give the Eagles their fifth run of the game.
Barnes finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, while Bembnowski went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the night cap, the Eagles had opportunities but just couldn’t convert dropping a 2-1 decision to Northern Colorado.
In the bottom of the third, FGCU took a 1-0 lead after a solo home run to right field from junior Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida). Gabel delivered her first home run of the season to give the Eagles an early lead.
Northern Colorado answered with a solo home run in the top of the fourth from Lindsey Smith to tie the game at 1-1.
Redshirt senior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) started for the Eagles throwing 4.1 innings, allowing three hits on one earned run and two strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) came in relief in the top of the fifth with one out recorded and ended the inning with no damage.
The Bears took the lead in a wild top of the sixth inning as Erin Geddis singled to start the inning, followed by another single down the left field line by Mikayla Duffy. Josie got Smith to strike out swinging but Alex Neely single home Geddis to give Northern Colorado the 2-1 lead. With one out in the inning, Northern Colorado never re-entered its designated player and she singled initially, but the hit was taken away by rule putting runners back on second and third with two outs. Josie then got Wilkinson to ground out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, FGCU would get another opportunity as Fernandez and Bembnowski would single with one out to put runners on first and second. Gabel flied out to right field as Fernandez tagged up to third, but Ramey ended the game with a ground out to the pitcher.
Lanier, Ramey, Fernandez, Gabel and Bembnowski each finished with one hit apiece.
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), results and recaps will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
USF-The Game Tournament
*Games played at the Eddie C. Moore Complex: Clearwater, Fla.*
Friday, March 16
FGCU 5, Rutgers 2
Northern Colorado 2, FGCU 1
Saturday March 17
FGCU vs. UNC-Wilmington, 1:45 p.m.
FGCU vs. Fairfield, 6:15 p.m.
Sunday March 18
FGCU vs. UMass, 1:30 p.m.