FLORIDA GULF COAST
(23-7, 17-1 A-Sun)
(24-6, 16-2 A-Sun)
3/8/2014 | DeLand, Fla. (Edmunds Center) | Attendance: 1449
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||30||36||8||74|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||STET|
|3P FG Percentage||.333
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team hosted Atlantic Sun Conference opponent ETSU in the final game of three-game series Sunday afternoon, and behind the arm of Jackie Owen claimed a 1-0 victory. After dispatching the Buccaneers in both Saturday outings, the Eagles completed the sweep to improve to 17-11-1 overall and 4-2 in conference play. ETSU dropped to 10-11 on the season and 1-5 in A-Sun action.
In the circle, Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers High School) tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing only one hit and striking out five to improve her record to 4-1 on the season. At the plate, the Eagles received a monster performance from catcher Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) as the senior went a perfect 3-3 at the dish and had the only RBI in the game.
“Jackie was absolutely outstanding today.” FGCU head coach David Deiros said of Owen’s performance. “She had complete command of what she was trying to do and kept hitters off balance. Nobody really got a clean shot on her all day long. That makes playing defense behind her really easy. Congratulations to her and to the team for getting the sweep and getting us back into the top third of the conference.”
The Eagles got their lone run in bottom of the 3rd. Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) started the inning with a line-drive single just over the outstretched glove of the second baseman. With two outs and Zgrabik at the plate, Deiros called for a hit-and-run and Zgrabik smashed a single up the middle. Barnes came all the way around from first to cross the plate and give the Green and Blue a 1-0 lead. The Eagles continued to threaten, using two quick singles to load the bases for Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor), but ETSU starter Katie Wolff got out of the jam by inducing a pop out to shortstop.
Owens was dominant from the start, not allowing a batter to reach base until she walked someone with two outs in the 4th. The Buccaneers first hit of the day came when the next batter, Jackie Baird, laced a single to left field. Another walk loaded the bases for ETSU, but Owens induced a pop up in foul territory for the final out of the frame.
After the shaky 4th, Owens returned to peak performance in the 5th, striking out all three ETSU batters in order. The right hander cruised through the remainder of the game, not allowing a base runner after the 4th frame, with the two walks and base hit in that inning representing the only three runners she allowed to reach base all game.
The Eagles return to action on Tuesday, Mar. 18, at the FGCU Softball Complex against the University of Connecticut. The first pitch for game one of the doubleheader is set for 5 p.m. The Eagles are back in A-Sun action next weekend at USC Upstate on Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 22-23, against a Spartans team (25-4, 6-2 A-Sun) which was nationally ranked in the top-25 last week and received votes in this week’s poll.