3/17/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 58
3/17/2012 | Clearwater, Fla. | Attendance: 55
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The FGCU softball team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 8-1, and Fairfield, 6-4, on Saturday night at the USF The Game Tournament at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
The Eagles are 17-15 on the season, while UNC-Wilmington falls to 4-21 and Fairfield drops to 10-8. The Green and Blue are 8-2 in their last 10 games entering Sunday’s finale against UMass at 1:30.
In game one, FGCU pounded out hits and scored eight runs en route to an easy 8-1 victory against UNC-Wilmington. Freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) pitched a complete game to improve to 11-2. Morgan allowed two hits on one earned run with six strikeouts.
Four Eagles had multiple hits in the game as sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) had two hits and classmate Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) finished 2-for-2 with an RBI.
The Green and Blue jumped ahead with four runs in the first inning as Fernandez singled up the middle, followed by a ground-rule double from Lanier to put runners on second and third with one out. Zgrabik singled home Fernandez for the first run. Bembnowski worked a walk to load the bases for freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) who reached on a dropped fly ball that allowed Lanier to score but Bembnowski was forced out at second. Carpenter stole second base that allowed Zgrabik to score for the third run and Carpenter scored off another dropped fly by the first baseman.
The Eagles added another run in the top of the second as Lanier started a two-out rally with a single through the left side, followed by another single from Zgrabik. Bembnowski single to right field to score Lanier to make it 5-0 FGCU.
The Seahawks cut into the lead with a run in the bottom of the second when Kelsey Eddinger reached first base off a hit by pitch. Eddinger stole second base, Daniela Torres followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice to junior Kayla Ramey (Fort Myers, Fla./North Fort Myers HS/Seminole State College) who tried to get Eddinger at third but was unsuccessful. UNCW would score off a squeeze play that Morgan fielded but Eddinger slid in safely for their first run.
In the top of the fourth, FGCU scored an insurance run after Lanier singled to start the frame. Zgrabik reached on a drop fly ball from the right fielder putting runners on first and second. Freshman Lauren Stevens (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge HS) pinch-ran for Lanier. Bembnowski roped a double to right field but Stevens held up at third causing Zgrabik to be caught between second and third for the out. Carpenter scored Stevens with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Eagles a 6-1 lead.
The Green and Blue added two more runs in the top of the seventh on three hits starting with a pinch-hit single from freshman Stephanie Metzger (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge HS). Metzger advanced to second on a groundout and stole third base with one out. Junior Stephanie Kujawa (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City HS/Virginia Tech) lined an RBI single, followed by an RBI single from Fernandez after Kujawa stole second base.
Morgan worked out of an error to start the bottom of the seventh to finish the game strong on a strike out swinging.
In the night cap, the Eagles built a 6-0 cushion before Fairfield scored four runs in the final inning but FGCU held on for the 6-4 win.
Sophomore pitcher Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) picked up her fourth win of the season after throwing 6.1 innings, allowing five hits on three unearned runs with two strikeouts. Redshirt senior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) secured her second save of the year by getting the final two outs in the seventh.
Bembnowski paced the Eagles with a 3-for-4 effort with an RBI triple and two runs scored. Fernandez also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a solo home run, while Carpenter had two hits and an RBI.
In the top of the first, FGCU started fast with a bomb from Fernandez to right field for her second of the season.
The Eagles made it 2-0 after scoring a run in the top of the fourth as Bembnowski singled to left field to start the inning. After two ground outs, sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) singled to left field to score Bembnowski.
In the top of the fifth, the Green and Blue added three more runs on two hits and one error. Kujawa worked a walk and stole second to start the frame. With two outs, Zgrabik reached on an error by the third baseman allowing Kujawa to score. Bembnowski tripled to right center and Carpenter doubled to left to give the Eagles a 5-0.
FGCU added another run in the top of the seventh as Zgrabik doubled down the line to open the inning. Bembnowski reached on a bunt single and Carpenter singled to third base to load the bases. After a foul out to first, Garabedian was hit by a pitch allowing Zgrabik to come home.
The Red Stag would not go away quietly in the bottom of the seventh as Wigand singled to left field, followed by a double from Ball. Josie would get Beaudoin to fly out to left field but Frungillo reached on an error by the first baseman, allowing two runs to score. Campen would relieve Josie and allowed Levick to reach off her own throwing error to first. After a ground out to third base, another run would score off a wild pitch from Campen. With the Eagles leading 6-4, Fairfield’s Filicia hit a shot off Campen that was deflected to Garabedian, who jumped and fired to first to end the game.
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 8, UNC-Wilmington 1
FGCU 6, Fairfield 4
Sunday March 18
FGCU vs. UMass, 1:30 p.m.