Morgan's Shutout Leads FGCU to Split Against Lipscomb in A-Sun Play
Friday, April 06, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder
FGCU (23-20)
Lipscomb (22-11)
4/6/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 189
Win: MORGAN (14-5) 7.020043
Loss: KIIHNL (17-7) 7.031038
BARNES (FGCU) 401000
LANIER (FGCU) 201010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) tossed a two-hit shutout in game one as the FGCU softball team split against Atlantic Sun foe Lipscomb (W, 1-0 L, 14-5) on Friday night at the Draper Diamond Field in Nashville, Tenn.

The Eagles are 23-21 (3-3 A-Sun) on the season, while Lipscomb’s record is 23-11 (3-3 A-Sun).

In game one, Morgan out pitched A-Sun All-Conference pitcher Whitney Kiihnl to win a 1-0 game against Lipscomb and picked up her 14th win of the season and sixth shutout to pace the Eagles to victory.

In the top of the sixth, the Eagles took the lead as junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) worked a leadoff walk to start the inning. Junior Stephanie Kujawa (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City HS/Virginia Tech) pinch-ran and stole second base. Sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) walked to put runners on first and second, followed by classmate Chelsea Zgrabik’s (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) sacrifice bunt putting runners at the corners. Sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) reached on an dropped fly ball to the second baseman before freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) grounded out to plate the Eagles’ first run.

FGCU’s defense was stellar in keeping the 1-0 lead as they turned three double plays throughout the contest.

In the bottom of the seventh, Morgan struck out the first batter looking before allowing a walk with one out. Gracie Aguirre grounded into a game-ending 6-3 double play to finish the shutout for Morgan.Kiihnl took the loss to fall to 17-7, allowing no earned runs with eight strikeouts.

In game two, the Eagles took an early 3-0 lead but Lipscomb fought back to take the lead at 4-3 in the second. FGCU would tie the game at 4-4 and at 5-5 before Lipscomb scored a nine-run bottom of the fourth to break open the game at 14-5 and held on to split the series.

The Green and Blue plated three runs in the top of the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) walked to leadoff the frame, followed by another walk to Fernandez. With no outs, Barnes was picked off second and Lanier singled to right field to put runners at the corners with one out. Zgrabik doubled to center field to score Fernandez to give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage. After a line out, Carpenter doubled on a shallow ball to right field scoring Lanier and Zgrabik to make it 3-0.

The Bison would storm back with a four-run second inning off four hits and two errors to take a 4-3 lead on FGCU. Lipscomb put together four straight hits, including back-to-back doubles from Aguirre and Bridgette Begle to score three runs.

In the top of the third, Lanier blasted her fourth home run of the season to even the score at 4-4. Lipscomb responded with another run in the bottom of the third, after Aguirre lined an RBI single to centerfield for the fifth run of the game.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) delivered a solo home run to left field, her second of the season, to tie the game at 5-5.

Lipscomb would retake the lead for good with a nine-run bottom of the fourth in which the Bison had eight hits to secure the win. The frame started with an error and the Bison would capitalize on the Eagles’ miscues. Aguirre plated two on a two-run single to finish the game with four RBI and Cothron added an RBI single to left field. FGCU had a couple of opportunities to get out of the inning but the Bison kept adding to its lead.

The Green and Blue had a chance in the top of the fifth as Lanier picked up her third hit of the game with a single to the shortstop. The Eagles would end the game on back-to-back ground outs to fall in five innings.

Redshirt senior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) took the loss in relief to fall to 1-6 on the season. Sophomore Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) threw two innings, allowing six hits and five earned runs as the starter.

Lipscomb’s Ashley Anderson (6-4) earned the win throwing five innings, allowing eight hits on five earned runs with three strikeouts.

Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUEagles), results and recaps will be available at