@FGCU_Softball Splits Nonconference Finale with FAU
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Chelsea Zgrabik hit her 11th homerun of the season in the first game
Chelsea Zgrabik hit her 11th homerun of the season in the first game
FAU (24-20)
FGCU (23-19-1)
4/9/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 148
Win: WADE (4-3) 5.021141
Loss: Messer (12-6) 6.032203
Herb (FAU) 302010
BARNES (FGCU) 311000

FORT MYERS, Fla. – In its final nonconference series of the season, the FGCU softball team split a double header with cross-state foe FAU Wednesday night at the FGCU Softball Complex.  The Eagles move to 23-20-1 on the season, while FAU falls to 24-21. 

Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla/Venice High School) led the Eagles to victory with a two-run homerun in the first game, with Louie Ross (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida S. Baker High School) adding the Eagles’ sole RBI of the second game with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. 

“It was nice to get a win in the first game,” said head coach David Deiros. “But we have a lot of work to do before we get back into conference action at Jacksonville this weekend.” 

Game One

After three scoreless innings, the visiting team got on the scoreboard first. The Owls drew a walk to lead off the fourth inning.  The runner advanced to second on a stolen base and went to third on a sacrifice bunt.  FAU took a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left field but was held to just one run with another fly out to end the inning.

The Eagles responded quickly in the bottom of the fourth as Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) doubled to left field to lead off the inning.  Barnes advanced on a sac bunt before Zgrabik scored Barnes and put the Eagles up 2-1 on a first-pitch homerun down the right-field line.  The bomb was Zgrabik’s 11th of the season.

Through five complete innings, starter Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./Pace High School) allowed just one run on two hits.  The rookie walked four and struck out one before being relieved by Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./ Estero High School).  Josie earned her second save of the season with two hits and no runs through two full innings.

Game Two

The Eagles carried the momentum from game one into the second game of the double header and took a 1-0 lead in the third inning.  Barnes laid down a perfect bunt that sat just in front of the plate on the first-base line to start the inning.  Makensie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) took first on an infield error and moved Barnes to second on the play.  A groundout moved both runners ahead to put two runners in scoring position as Zgrabik approached the batter’s box.  The Owls intentionally walked the power hitter to load the bases with one out.  Ross knocked a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Barnes to score and give the Eagles a 1-0 lead but it would be the home team’s lone run of the evening matchup.

The lead was short lived as the Owls responded in the top of the fourth.  The leadoff batter singled and moved to second when the next batter walked.  The Owl’s third batter singled to left field but advanced to third on an outfield error.  The error allowed two runs to score and let the visiting team take a 2-1 lead.  A third run scored on a wild pitch before the Eagles caught a runner stealing and forced a groundout to end the inning.  The 3-1 lead was enough for the Owls as the Eagles were held to just three hits and were unable to even the score through the remainder of the game.

Josie started the game in the circle for FGCU but was relieved by Wade in the third inning.  Josie allowed just one hit in her appearance with one strikeout, while Wade gave up three runs on six hits.  Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School) entered for the Green and Blue in the fifth and threw three scoreless innings.  Wade earned the loss for the Eagles to move to 4-4 after two decisions on the day. 

FGCU will travel to Jacksonville to face conference opponent JU (5-12; 14-23 A-Sun) in a three-game series this weekend.  The Eagles and Dolphins will begin battle on Saturday, April 12, with the first pitch of the series scheduled for 1 p.m.

Tickets for all FGCU softball games are available at a cost of $6 for adults and $3 for children.  Tickets provide entrance to the entire day of the tournament.  For more ticket information and additional deals, visit FGCUathletics.com/tickets, or call or visit the ticket office at 239-590-7145.