Magical Season Ends as FGCU Falls Twice at NCAA Regionals
Saturday, May 19, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
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Photo by Ron Irby
Photo by Ron Irby
#22 USF (47-11)
at
FGCU (38-23)
5/19/2012 | Gainesville, Fla. | Attendance: 0
1234567RHE
USF04210018121
FGCU0002010372
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: S Nevins (28-5) 3.242115
Loss: MORGAN (23-7) 2.256201
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
K Jackson (USF) 424100
WILLIAMS (FGCU) 402000

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After their first-ever NCAA Tournament win on Friday, the FGCU softball team was defeated twice against USF, 8-3, and fifth-seeded Florida, 6-2, in the Gainesville Regional on Saturday at the Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

“First of all, congratulations to the University of Florida and to the University of South Florida for making it to the Regional Finals tomorrow,” said head coach Dave Deiros. “They both played real well, the University of Florida persevered to make it to Sunday after going into the loser’s bracket right away. I want to congratulate my team. I couldn’t be any prouder of them. If early in the season you would have told me that we would be Atlantic Sun Champions and we’d be in Regionals, beat Florida and had a chance to go on to the Regional Finals, I would have thought you were crazy because we weren’t playing well early but that’s a testament to how well our kids turned things around and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”

The Eagles end the 2012 season with a 39-24 record as their seven game winning streak was snapped against USF. FGCU earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory after defeating fifth-seeded Florida, 2-1 on Friday.

In the winner’s bracket final, the Eagles fell to USF, 8-3 after allowing 12 hits to fall into the loser’s bracket final against fifth-seeded Florida for a rematch.  

Sophomore Tori Williams (Dunnellon, Fla./Dunnellon HS) led FGCU with a 2-for-4 effort in her second straight start at the Gainesville Regional. Kenshyra Jackson went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to pace USF.

Sara Nevins earned the victory in relief throwing 3.2 innings, scattering four hits on one earned run with five strikeouts. Freshman Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) took the loss after lasting just 2.2 innings, allowing five hits on six runs (two earned) and one punch out.

USF took an early lead with a four-run top of the second inning on two hits and two errors. Janine Richardson started the inning with a hit by pitch and Kourtney Salvarola reached on an error to put runners on first and third. Kenshyra Jackson singled through the right side to score Richardson, giving USF a 1-0 lead. After a strikeout, the Bulls put on a double steal as Salvarola and Jackson moved to second and third with one out. Alexis Nowell reached on a fielder’s choice as sophomore shortstop Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) nailed Salvarola at home. With two outs, Ashli Goff reached on an error that allowed Jackson to score from third to give USF a 2-0 lead. Gina Kafalas provided the big blow, a two-run triple down the right field line to make it 4-0.

The Bulls opened the top of the third with a standup double from Stephanie Medina. D’Anna Devine pinch-ran and advanced to third from a sacrifice bunt from Richardson. Salvarola earned a sacrifice fly to score Devine to give USF a 5-0 lead. Jackson singled to centerfield to finish the day for Morgan. Sophomore Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) came in relief. Fountain singled to right field to put runners on first and second. After a hit by pitch to Nowell, the bases were loaded for pinch-hitter Stormi Grzybek. Jackson scored the sixth run on a wild pitch and Josie got Grzybek to end the inning on a pop up to Knapik.  

In the top of the fourth, USF added another run as Richardson picked up a two-out RBI single to take a 7-0 lead. After a fly out, Jessica Mouse singled to left field and stole second to move herself into scoring position with one out. Medina flied out to left, but Richardson lined a single to centerfield allowing Mouse to score on a collision play at the plate.

FGCU came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth on two hits. Sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) started the frame with a standup double to centerfield. After a strikeout, junior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) walked to put runners on first and second with one out. After another strikeout, Knapik reached on a throwing error by the shortstop allowing Bembnowski to score. Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) lined an RBI single to score Fernandez to cut USF’s lead to 7-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Green and Blue scored again after a pinch-hit RBI single from junior Stephanie Kujawa (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City HS/ Virginia Tech). Freshman Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS)  singled up the middle to start the inning. Junior Kayla Ramey (Fort Myers, Fla./N. Fort Myers HS/Seminole State College) lined a hit under the diving glove of the second baseman to put runners on first and second with no outs. Sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. Kujawa singled to left field to score Carpenter for the third run and Ramey moved to third. Nevins worked out of the jam but getting Barnes and Williams to end the threat.

Redshirt senior Morgan Campen (Rougemont, N.C./Northern HS) came in relief of Josie and pitched two innings, allowing three hits and one earned run.

USF scored an insurance run after a one out double from Jackson started the inning. Stephanie Juergens pinch-ran for Jackson and moved to third on a wild pitch. Fountain laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Juergens for the eighth run of the game for the Bulls. After a double from Nowell, Campen ended the inning with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Sydney Dinelli.

The Eagles went down in order in the bottom of the seventh against USF on a strikeout, foul out to the catcher and another strikeout to end the game.

In the elimination contest, Florida used a key three-run seventh inning and four home runs to take down FGCU, 6-2.

Lauren Haegar earned her 15th win of the season after throwing five innings, allowing five hits on two earned runs. Hannah Rogers picked up her fourth save of the season. Morgan took the loss and threw six innings, allowing 13 hits on five earned runs with six strikeouts.

With the Green and Blue trailing 3-2, Florida added three runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Kelsey Horton and Lauren Haegar had back-to-back home runs for the Gators.  

All-SEC first team member Michelle Moultrie finished with a 4-for-4 effort and two runs scored. Horton had two home runs, three hits and three RBI and Haegar added a solo home run to pace the Gators. Williams had a 2-for-2 effort to finish the day 4-for-6 to lead the Eagles. Knapik also picked up two hits for FGCU. 

Moultrie started the game with a bunt single in the top of the first, followed by a single up the middle from Kelsey Horton to put runners on first and second. Morgan got Lauren Haegar to fly out to center field, but Bailey Castro singled through the left side to score Moultrie from second to give Florida a 1-0 lead. Morgan got Brittany Schutte out on a strikeout and Samantha Holle on a ground out to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Holle blasted a solo shot to left field, her first of the season, to give the Gators a 2-0 lead.

Florida added another long ball in the top of the fifth as Kelsey Horton homered to left center, her 12th home run of the year, to make it 3-0.

The Green and Blue scored a run in the bottom of the fifth as Garabedian walked after a pop out to start the inning. Knapik doubled to right center to put runners on second and third with one out. Barnes lined a sacrifice fly to left field to score Garabedian and cut the Gators lead to 3-1. With two outs, Williams singled up the middle, but Knapik was thrown out at the plate by Moultrie to end the inning.

FGCU cut the lead to one after sophomore Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony HS) roped a solo home run to left field, her seventh of the season, to make it 3-2.  

In the final inning, Knapik had a two out single but Barnes ended the game with a ground out to the pitcher.