2/7/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 184
2/7/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 179
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU softball team opened up its 2014 campaign in the FGCU/ Four Points by Sheraton Softball Invitational on Friday evening picking up a pair of wins against Ole Miss and Georgetown and using the long ball to do so with the help of two stellar performances in the circle.
Junior Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS) carried the Eagles offensively with two home runs on the day, going 1-3 in the first game opposite the Rebels of Ole Miss with a two-run home run. She would follow that up with another two-run bomb in game two that would prove to be the difference in the ball game. In total, Carpenter went 2-4 with four RBI to account for four of the Eagles five runs on Friday.
Not to be ignored, Jackie Owen (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS) tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just one hit and striking out three against Georgetown to pick up her first victory of the season.
“It was a total team effort!” Head Coach Dave Deiros said afterwards. “It was a pitching staff effort; all three of our pitchers did a nice job. Ole Miss just played us under pressure for the entire game and the entire team, including our pitchers, did a great job of getting themselves out of trouble and maintaining our lead. Big hits by JB (Jessica Barnes) and Carp (Kelsey Carpenter). Carp did it again in game two. We put her in the four spot on purpose. She is a big game player and she does a nice job when she gets those opportunities. I don’t want to leave out just how masterful of a performance Jackie Owen had today. It was extremely efficient. The first hitter of the game of the game got a hit and I’m not really sure the rest of the game as far as how many more base runners they had but it was really efficient going all the way through. Just a great win. Nice spring board for tomorrow. “
The Eagles’ Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) led off game one with a single through the right side to start the first rally of 2014. With two outs, Carpenter came to the plate and lifted a two-run home run over the left field fence for her first of the year and 13th of her career.
The Green and Blue extended its lead to three runs in the bottom of the third with a bomb from Barnes over the left field wall once again but were unable to tack on anymore scores for the remainder of the game.
After being held scoreless in the first three innings, the Rebel bats came alive in the fourth with back-to-back singles to get things started and with one out, Ole Miss drove in two runs on a single down the left field line, making the score 3-2 in the top of the fourth.
The two teams battled defensively over the next two innings, neither able to add any more runs to the board. FGCU’s Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla. / Estero HS) would strand nine Ole Miss runners through six innings, allowing 12 hits before Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla. / Pace HS) came on in the seventh for FGCU and worked herself out of a jam to close out this one.
While pitchers Owen and Megan Hyson of Georgetown dueled through three scoreless innings, Carpenter sent moon shot number two clanging off the scoreboard in left in the bottom of the fourth to break the silence.||
Owen rolled through the Georgetown order having given up the only hit of the game in the first inning. She would walk just two and struck out three as she dominated her way to the victory.
The Eagles will be back in action tomorrow (Feb. 8) at 4:45 p.m. opposite the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky before taking on Liberty at 7 p.m.