3/18/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 50
3/18/2014 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 350
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With two wins over Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon, the FGCU softball team extended a win streak to five games and has now won seven of its last eight. The Eagles defeated the Huskies 3-1 in game one before shutting the visiting team out with a 7-0 win in game two. The Eagles improve to 19-11-1 on the season with the wins, while UConn drops to 5-16.
“I thought we played very well in all facets today,” said head coach David Deiros of the nonconference wins. “It was nice to see our bats do a nice job and be really efficient in both games. This will set us up for the work we have to get done this weekend.”
The Eagles produced 16 hits on the day, including three triples and outscored the Huskies 10-1 through two games. Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) again led the Eagles with four RBI after going 3-for-5 with one walk and one run scored.
Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./Pace High School) and Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School) both earned wins for FGCU. Wade pitched five innings in the first game and allowed no earned runs, while striking out three batters. In the second game, Morgan entered in the third and pitched five scoreless innings with just three hits.
Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) led off with a triple to right field before Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) homered over the left-field fence to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
After three scoreless innings for UConn, the Eagles added a third run in the bottom of the fourth. Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) walked with two outs and scored when freshman Jeanie Verderese (Jacksonville, Fla./Creekside High School) tripled to the center-field fence.
The Huskies got on the board in the top of the fifth with an unearned run. After a triple to center field, the runner scored on a misplayed ball in left field.
Josie closed out the first game with just two hits in the final two innings of play and maintained a 3-1 lead for FGCU.
The Eagles carried the momentum into the second game when Barnes again led off with a single. Mackenzie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) followed with a single through the left side before Zgrabik walked to load the bases. Carpenter knocked in two runs with a single to left field to give the Eagles a quick lead. Louie Ross (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida S. Baker High School) knocked in a third run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Garabedian and Verderese added two more runs for the Eagles, each with a double before the inning ended. After just one inning, the Eagles held a 5-0 advantage.
FGCU added one run in the second after Barnes singled, stole second and crossed the plate on a Carpenter single.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Zgrabik walked and scored on a Carpenter double to center field to bring the Eagles’ run total to seven runs.
The Eagles held the Huskies scoreless through the fifth, sixth and seventh to maintain the shutout and earn a 7-0 win.
The Eagles will travel to league-favorite USC Upstate for a three-game series this weekend. The games in Spartanburg, S.C. are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The teams will play a double header on Saturday before facing off in a single game on Sunday afternoon.
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.