4/27/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 188
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In the last game of the season at the FGCU Softball Complex, the FGCU Softball team fell 3-1 to Mercer University Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Eagles fall to 28-24-1 on the season with an 11-13 mark in Atlantic Sun action, while the Bears improve to 34-17 and 16-8 in conference play.
Prior to the game, seniors Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./ North Fort Myers High School), Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School), Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero High School), Regan Knapik (Land O’Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch High School), Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver High School), Emily Lanier (St. Cloud, Fla./Harmony High School), Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) and Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake High School) were honored for their time with the Eagles in a Senior Day ceremony. The eight seniors hold an overall record of 133-91-1 through four years with a mark of 55-30 in conference play. The group earned an Atlantic Sun Championship in 2012 and was part of FGCU’s first team to win an NCAA Tournament game.
“We had some chances to win today and we just couldn’t get it done,” said head coach David Deiros. “You have to tip your cap to Mercer. They played a great series but the good news for us is our magic number is still one and we can take care of our own destiny next week at NKU.”
The Eagles produced just three hits on the day, while allowing the Bears to combine for 11 hits and three runs.
FGCU’s only hits were products of efforts from Barnes, Zgrabik and junior Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School).
Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe High School) was tabbed with the loss as she allowed 11 hits in seven innings. She struck out three and walked two with three earned runs on the day.
The Bears carried their offensive momentum from Saturday into Sunday’s game and produced two quick hits to open the game. After a walk, the Bears had two base runners but were stopped as the Eagles escaped the inning without allowing a run when Knapik turned a great play at third for the third out.
Mercer again challenged the Eagles in the top of the season and loaded the bases with three hits. Morgan recorded the last out to stop the attack with a strikeout and again held the Bears scoreless.
Carpenter gave the Eagles their only offense surge in the bottom of the second with a leadoff homerun. Carpenter knocked the solo shot over the left field fence to put the Eagles ahead 1-0 after two innings.
After another two scoreless innings for both teams, the Bears retaliated with an offensive swell. The leadoff batter singled up the middle before a two-run homer to center field gave the Bears the lead at 2-1.
The Bears added to the lead in the sixth with consecutive singles, a hit by pitch and another single to score another run. The Eagles halted a fourth run from scoring when a stellar throw from Barnes to Zgrabik behind the plate tagged the second runner.
The Eagles were unable to match Mercer’s run total and went down in order in the sixth and seventh innings to ultimately fall 3-1.
The Green and Blue will travel to Northern Kentucky for a three-game series next weekend to conclude regular season action. The Eagles and the Norse will begin the matchup Saturday, May 3 with the first pitch of the series scheduled for 12 p.m. The Eagles will need just one win at NKU to secure a position in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship tournament.