3/9/2013 | Stanford, Calif. | Attendance: 412
3/9/2013 | Stanford, Calif. | Attendance: 181
PALO ALTO, Calif. – In day two of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, the FGCU softball team (15-8) garnered a split by beating Pacific, 8-5, and suffering an 8-0 run rule defeat to No. 18 Stanford in five innings on Saturday afternoon at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.
“We battled hard all day and were able to pull out a victory in the first game versus Pacific,” said FGCU head coach David Deiros. “I thought we battled well in game two, but we were in too big of a hole. We get a chance to play another one tomorrow and finish out our trip so we are looking forward to it.”
After dropping two contests in the first day of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic at the bats of Pacific and No. 18 Stanford, FGCU looked to rebound in its first game of day two of the classic against Pacific.
Senior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) reached base on a walk with one out in the bottom of the first and with Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) at bat, Fernandez stole second to put pressure on the Pacific defensive strategy. With an opportunity to create offense, Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) stepped to the plate and sent a ball over the center field fence, giving FGCU a 3-0 advantage after the first inning.
Junior transfer, Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./Daytona State College) retired the first six batters she faced to start the game, but the Tigers got to the FGCU starting pitcher in the top of the third. With two outs and runners on first and second, a Pacific three-run home run made it a 3-3 tie ball game.
The Eagles retook the lead soon after to ensure no chances for a Pacific comeback. Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) came through for the Green and Blue with runners on base in the bottom of the third as the junior brought two runs across with a single into center field to put her squad up 5-3 and force a pitching change from the opposition.
After the substitution, FGCU reloaded the bases and brought across two more runs courtesy of a Kayla Gabel (Lakeland, Fla./State College of Florida) RBI walk and a Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) sacrifice fly to cap off a four-run inning, with the Eagles up 7-3 through three innings.
With one gone in the home half of the fourth, 2013 A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year, Chelsea Zgrabik stepped to the plate and hit one out of Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium for the second time in the game, extending the lead to 8-3 in favor of the Green and Blue.
With the Tigers having put together another threat, this time in the top of the sixth, junior Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero HS) entered in relief of Owen with one out and the bases loaded. Pacific’s Taylor Petty singled to bring across a run and make it 8-5 with FGCU still holding serve. The Petty single reloaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but Josie and the Eagle defense remained strong through the scoring threat to keep any additional Tiger runners from scoring.
Pacific had one last chance in the top of the seventh inning to extend the game, but Josie and the FGCU infield remained locked in to prevent any base hits and get three ground ball outs to secure an 8-5 FGCU victory.
In the second game of the day for FGCU, three straight singles to start off the bottom of the first inning loaded the bases for No. 18 Stanford against the Eagles. Sophomore starting pitcher Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla/Santa Fe HS) found herself in a jam with the bases loaded and the plot thickened when another Cardinal base hit gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. After a walk that reloaded the bases, a Kayla Bonstrom long ball brought four more runs across and put Stanford up 6-0 through one inning of play.
Stanford was active once again on the bases, this time in the home half of the second, as they brought across another run, causing a pitching change for the Green and Blue as Amanda Josie, who recorded a save in the first game of the day against Pacific, entered for Morgan.
The biggest threat of the night for FGCU came in the top of the third when a Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) double and Jessica Barnes walk put two runners on with Chelsea Zgrabik at bat, but FGCU was unable to bring any runners across and break the shutout. The double by Carpenter would be the only hit of the game for the Green and Blue.
With runners on second and third base in the home frame of the fourth, FGCU intentionally walked a Stanford batter to load the bases with one out. The Cardinal were only able to score one run out of the opportunity, but extended their advantage to 8-0 at the end of four innings.
Stanford starting pitcher Teagan Gerhart got two strikeouts and a pop out to record a three up, three down fifth with FGCU at bat and ended the game in five innings for an 8-0 Cardinal victory by run rule.
The Green and Blue will bring their seven-game California road trip to a close on Sunday, March 10 in a matchup with Minnesota at 1 p.m. on the final day of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. FGCU has faced the Golden Gophers once already this season, on February 22, as the two squads met in Fort Myers at the LaQuinta Inn at the Airport Spring Break Invitational with Minnesota taking the contest 3-0. For additional information on the Stanford Louisville Classic, visit the Louisville Slugger Classic Central.
In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.