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Softball continues historic start with sweep of double-header of Oakland

With their perfect record on the line and already the best start in program history, the FGCU softball team kept their winning streak going as they moved to 8-0 with a sweep of Oakland.

Both games featured good pitching with poor defense on both sides, but the Eagles were able to pick up 7-1 and 6-5 wins.

“I think our pitching was exemplary all day long,” head coach Dave Deiros said. I can’t say enough about the ways our pitchers are throwing the ball and commanding the zone [by] getting ahead hitters and really exercising their will. We’ll keep at it. We’re still 8-0. The sign of a good team is when you don’t play your best and come away with a couple of victories.”

Riley Randolph (4-0) was on the hill in game one and put her .36 ERA on the line, but managed to lower that as she went 6 innings allowing 1 run (0 earned) while allowing three hits and striking out four.

The Eagles got off to a quick start with an unearned run in the first after Kelsey Huff walked to open the game and would come around to score one batter later after a throwing error by third baseman Madison Jones that would give FGCU a 1-0 lead.

They tacked on another unearned run in the second after shortstop Jamie Squires made an error to load the bases and Brooke Clement drove home Kate Kelly with an RBI groundout.

The Golden Grizzlies got their first base runner in the fourth on an error from Bri Innamorato and their first hit from Jessie Munson. Oakland was able to cash in to trim the margin to 2-1.

The Eagles were able to break it open in the fifth with help from Oakland’s three errors and FGCU’s five hits. Huff drove in the first time and both Clemens and Bri Bennett each drove in two runs with hits.

Marissa Mesiemore closed the game out with a 1-2-3 inning and FGCU moved to 7-0 after Randolph was pulled after the sixth.

“It was real team effort.” Randolph said.  “I just put the ball in play and allowed our defense to back me up. I wasn’t too worried about blowing it by people and just let my defense work.”

In game two, Morgan White made the start and went 3.2.  Marissa Mesiemore came in and got the win from the bullpen.

After Kelsey Huff and Lopez reached with infield singles to start the game, FGCU had second and third with nobody, but did not score.

The game remained tied until the third inning when Innamorato reached third after a pair of errors after grounding out to third and would score on an infield single from Natalie Lopez. They would score three more in the inning with Ashley Swiderski coming through with a two-run triple to make it 4-0.

However, the Golden Grizzlies got right back into the game after the Eagles looked to have gotten out of the fourth, but a pair of errors from Brittany McGuire opened the door for four unearned runs to tie the game at four.

FGCU answered with a run in the second half, as Huff drove home Farley Callaghan that ended up being the game-winning run. Mesiemore continued until the sixth, and Taylor Bauman came in and picked up her sixth save of the season.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Huff said. “I think it’s the best start we’ve ever had. We just got to keep it up, be consistent and just keep it going.”

Up next, the Eagles will host another tournament this upcoming weekend where five games will be played starting with UConn on Friday, Feb. 23 at 4:45.

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