2/14/2014 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 0
2/14/2014 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 282
2/15/2014 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 0
2/16/2014 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 0
MIAMI, Fla. – The FGCU Softball team will continue the 2014 slate as the team travels to Miami this weekend to compete in the FIU Classic. The three-day tournament will include Wisconsin, FIU and Georgia Southern.
The Eagles will look to build on their success from the first weekend of the season. The team went 5-0-1 at the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational for the best start in school history.
THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
FGCU will begin the tournament Friday when the team takes on Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m. The Badgers finished the 2013 season with a record of 44-13 and 16-7 in the Big Ten, while making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin started the 2014 season last weekend with a 2-2 record after dropping two games to #3/4 Florida and defeating Bethune-Cookman and Illinois State. The team’s key returnees are seniors Mary Massei and Cassandra Darrah and junior Maria Van Abel. These players combined to earn two First-Team All-Big Ten accolades, two Second Team NFCA awards, an NCAA All-Regional Team nod, the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award and a place on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. This year, Stephanie Peace leads the Badgers with an average of .500 through three games with three homeruns and five RBI. Massei has knocked in two runs so far this year. Cassandra Darrah picked up a win in the circle for Wisconsin last weekend and allowed no earned runs in seven innings pitched.
The Badgers are led by head coach Yvette Healy who is in her third year at Wisconsin.
The Eagles will continue action with host FIU on Friday evening. The Panthers finished the 2013 season at 27-28 and third in the Sunbelt Conference with a record of 10-15. Florida International returned 12 lettermen and gained six newcomers this season and started the year with a 4-1 record with wins over Maryland, Jacksonville and DePaul.
The team is led by sophomore Corinne Jenkins with a 3.01 ERA and junior Shelby Graves who holds a 3.59 ERA. The offensive effort returns the bats of Amber Curry Brie Rojas and returning Conference USA Player of the Year Stephanie Texeira. Texeira holds an average of .714 through five games with five RBI. The team is led by Head Coach Jake Schumann, who is in his this season with a 55-55 record at FIU.
Saturday morning the Green and Blue will take on Georgia Southern. The Eagles finished the 2013 season with a 33-30 record and went 14-9 in the Sun Belt Conference. GSU started the 2014 season this past weekend with a 3-1 record with wins over Oakland and Northern Colorado and just one loss to perennial power Tennessee. The Eagles return pitchers Sarah Purvis and Brooke Red and sluggers Shelby Morril and Kourtny Thomas. Freshman Morgan Robinson currently leads the team with an .800 average that includes two doubles and two RBI. Thomas had knocked two runs out of the park already this season and has produced five RBI. Georgia Southern is led by head coach Annie Smith.
THE GREEN AND BLUE
The Eagles started the season with a 5-0-1 record last weekend for the best start in program history.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by junior Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) who went 10-for-16 from the plate for a .625 average. Carpenter recorded three doubles, two homeruns and six RBI. The leftfielder scored eight runs for the Eagles and held a slugging percentage of 1.188 through six games. The Atlantic Sun announced Monday that Carpenter won the Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honor after her stellar performance over the weekend weekend. Senior catcher and Preseason Player of the Year Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) added an average of .400 with a homerun and four runs batted in.
The pitching staff collectively held an ERA of 1.62, struck out 15 batters and held opponents to a .199 average with rookie Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./Pace High School) leading the way. Wade picked up two wins with 13 innings pitched. She allowed just one earned run for an ERA of 0.69. The defense boasted nine Eagles with a fielding percentage of 1.000 led by senior second baseman Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gullver Prep High School) and senior third baseman Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake High School). The pair combined for 33 put outs and 26 assists.
As a team, the Eagles outscored their opponents 26-12 through six games last weekend.
The FIU Classic will get underway Friday at 11 a.m. as Wisconsin takes on Georgia Southern to open the tournament. The Eagles will face Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m. and FIU at 6:30 p.m. to conclude day one.
The team will take on Georgia Southern to open Saturday’s play with first pitch slated for 10 a.m. Saturday afternoon will pit the first seed against the fourth seed and the second seed against the third seed. Sunday’s round will be determined by Saturday’s results.