@FGCU_Softball Stopped by Spartans, Drops Two to USC Upstate
Saturday, March 22, 2014 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Kelsey Carpenter produced 4 hits for FGCU  Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
Kelsey Carpenter produced 4 hits for FGCU Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
FGCU (19-12-1, 4-3 A-Sun)
USC Upstate (27-4, 8-2 A-Sun)
3/22/2014 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 244
USC Upstate0030058101
Win: SHUBERT (12-1) 6.070015
Loss: MORGAN (7-4) 5.196612

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The FGCU Softball team fell in two games to USC Upstate Saturday afternoon as Atlantic Sun Conference play continued.  The Eagles were shutout 8-0 in game one before falling 11-3 in the second game of the double header.  The Green and Blue move to 19-13-1 on the season with a 4-4 mark in conference play, while league favorite Upstate improves to 25-4 with a 9-2 record in A-Sun games.

Junior Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty High School) led the Eagles with four hits in six at bats through two games, but the Eagles were unable to match Upstate’s offensive pressure.  The Spartans produced 23 total hits compared to the Eagles’ 10, and outscored FGCU 19-3 to seal a series win.


The Eagles started strong with a leadoff single from Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) and a single from Carpenter in the top of the first but could not capitalized on base runners.  FGCU produced another base runner with a Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor) single in the second but were held scoreless through three innings.

Upstate struck first in the bottom of the third with a single and a double with one out.  With two runners on, Upstate smacked a two-run single up the middle to give the home team a 2-0 lead.  After a walk loaded the bases, Upstate produced another run on a sacrifice fly to right field.  After three innings, the Spartans held a 3-0 lead.

The Eagles put two runners on in the fifth when Jeanie Verderese (Jacksonville, Fla./Creekside High School) walked and Regan Knapik (Land O’ Lakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch High School) singled through the left side but were again unable to cross the plate.

Upstate added to its run total in the bottom of the sixth with five runs.  With two singles, a double and two walks, the Spartans took a 6-0 lead with two outs.  The home team added another run on a batter hit by a pitch and capped off their scoring spree with a two-run double.  Upstate extended its lead to 8-0 in the sixth to seal the win.

Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Sante Fe High School) earned the loss for FGCU with six earned runs allowed through 5.1 innings of work.  She gave up nine hits and struck out two of the 26 batters she faced. 


The Eagles again started with momentum in their favor as Mackenzie McAvoy (Plant City, Fla./Plant City High School) reached on an error to start game two.  Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice High School) followed with a two-run homer over the left-field fence to put the Eagles up 2-0 through the first inning.

The Spartans responded with back-to-back solo homeruns in the top of the second to tie the game at two after two complete innings.

USC Upstate added three runs with a double, a single and a two-run homer in the third to take a 5-2 lead.

Another homerun for Upstate in the fourth extended the lead.  The home team produced three hits and saw two FGCU errors in the fourth to hold a 9-2 lead after four innings.

The Eagles developed an attack in the top of the fifth with back-to-back walks from Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep High School) and Verderese.  With two runners on, Barnes singled up the middle to load the bases for McAvoy.  McAvoy drew a four-pitch walk to drive in a run and cut the deficit to six runs but the Eagles could not cross the plate again.

Upstate added another run on consecutive hits in the bottom of the fifth and secured the win with homerun to center field in the bottom of the sixth.

Amanda Josie (Estero, Fla./Estero High School) was credited with the loss in game two.  Josie allowed six earned runs to score on eight hits through three innings.  Taylor Wade (Pace, Fla./Pace High School) entered in relief and allowed three earned runs on five hits in two innings.

The Eagles will continue conference play on Sunday with one single game against the Spartans to conclude the series.  The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. but will be played at noon to avoid pending rain in South Carolina.