FORT MYERS, Fla. – Staying in-state for its first-ever Division I NCAA Softball Championship appearance, the FGCU softball team (37-22) is set to travel to the Gainesville Regional on Friday, May 18 to face the fifth-seeded host Florida Gators (46-11). Tickets for the contests at the Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium are now available.
Fans can visit the Gator Ticket Office at www.Gatorzone.com for ticket packages to this year’s 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regional. All session passes are $25 for adults and $10 children 17 & under and seniors (55+). Single game tickets cost $10 for an adult ticket and $5 for children 17 & under and seniors (55+). For fans picking up tickets on game day, the purchaser’s picture ID is required to pick up tickets. For more information, please call the ticket office at 352-375-4683, ext. 6800.
Also in the field for the four-team double elimination Gainesville regional are USF (45-11) and UCF (39-17), who meet Friday at 3:30 p.m.
The Eagles and Gators will be facing each other for the second time this season after the then-No. 2 Florida defeated FGCU, 5-0, back on Feb. 12 at the USF tournament in Tampa, Fla. USF and UCF are also common opponents for the Eagles as the Green and Blue fell to UCF, 2-1, on Feb. 25 and lost to USF, 4-2, in the season opener for both teams.
A total of nine teams off of FGCU’s 2012 regular season schedule earned a spot in the field of 64. The Eagles are 4-7 against those nine teams and faced six of them in the first month of the season (February). The youthful Eagles grew from a tough early season schedule and enter the NCAA tournament with wins in 16 of their last 18 games.
FGCU earned the A-Sun’s automatic bid into the field of 64 after earning the tournament’s No. 1 seed and going a perfect 3-0 in the championship with victories over fifth-seeded Jacksonville (8-4), sixth-seeded Stetson (2-0) and second-seeded Kennesaw State (8-0, 6th inn.). In their first season of eligibility, the Green and Blue are heading into the NCAA regional on a six-game winning streak.
A-Sun tournament MVP and Conference Pitcher of the Year freshman Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) recorded shutouts in the semifinal matchup against Stetson and in the championship game against Kennesaw State. Morgan finished the tourney 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA and 12 strikeouts.
Sophomore Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS), an A-Sun All-Tournament team selection, went 5-for-11 with two home runs, 6 RBI and a walk-off grand slam against Jacksonville in the A-Sun tournament. Zgrabik also ended the title game with a walk-off single to left field to clinch the championship against Kennesaw State, with an 9-0 run-rule victory. Joining Zgrabik on the All-Tournament team was sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) and junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS). Barnes had four hits, including a 3-for-3 game with five RBI in the final against the Owls. Fernandez had a solo home run against Jacksonville in game one and had a clutch three-run double to help defeat Stetson.
Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to www.FGCUAthletics.com for updates on the Gainesville Regional and the 2012 NCAA Softball Championship.
Friday, May 18
Game 1: USF vs. UCF, 3:30 p.m.
Game 2: Florida vs. FGCU, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1:00 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3:30 p.m.
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 20
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1:00 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, if necessary, 3:30 p.m.