Following a 2-1 series win over Jacksonville, the FGCU Softball team dropped it first three-game series in ASUN play with two losses and a win against UNF.
Opening the three-game series in Jacksonville with a double header on Saturday, April 1, the Eagles fell to the Ospreys 2-0 and 6-4, before taking the series finale on Sunday, April 2, 5-2.
“Our kids rose to the challenge and played really well in all aspects,” FGCU head coach David Deiros said in an FGCU athletics press release. “We were able to salvage the final game of the series, which was the goal. We’ll use this as a springboard for next week.”
With a combined 10 hits and two unearned runs between the teams, errors proved costly for the Eagles as they fell 2-0 in game one.
Following back-to-back base hits in the bottom of the first, Macayla Kelley lined one to Bri Innamorato, but Innamorato threw the ball away, allowing Taylor Aguayo to score and give UNF a 1-0 lead.
Trailing 1-0, singles from Ashley Swiderski, Brittany McGuire and Morgan Sutherland loaded the bases for the Eagles, but a double play ended the inning leaving the score at 1-0.
After allowing back-to-back base hits, Riley Randolph retired nine of the next ten batters she faced.
In the bottom of the fourth, Randolph escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam, getting a batter to pop out and striking out the final batter to keep the Eagles deficit at one.
Errors proved costly again for the Eagles in the fifth, after a dropped foul ball lead to a walk. With a runner on first, Randolph walked another batter before the runners were moved to second and third, following a groundout to Randolph.
With runners in scoring position, Kelly laid down a safety squeeze, scoring Alex Arciola from third to give the Ospreys a 2-0 lead.
After failing to capitalize with the bases loaded and one out early on in the game, the Eagles only hit the ball one more time throughout the entire contest, handing Randolph her fourth loss of the season.
Following their game-one loss were the Eagles only recorded four hits 0, the Eagles lost game two of the series 6-4 with their four-run seventh inning comeback falling short.
While neither team was able to grab a lead in the first two innings, the Ospreys exploded for a four-run third to take a 4-0 lead.
After UNF added another run in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead, the Eagles came close to bringing one run back, but a throw to the plate by UNF kept the Eagles off the board.
Trailing 6-0 in the seventh inning, the Eagles were able to capitalize on having the bases loaded as Swiderski hit a bases-clearing double to right-center. McGuire brought Swiderski home with a single to center but the Ospreys closed out the game to take the series win.
In the series finale on Sunday, the Eagles avoided the series with a 5-2 victory over UNF propelled by two RBIs from Innamorato and Kelsey Huff respectively.
With Randolph in the circle for the second time during the series, the left-hander struck out two batters and allowed just one run for her 12th win of the season.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead in the first, as Swiderski grounded out to second to score Natalie Lopez from third to give FGCU a 1-0 lead.
With one out in the top of the second, Sutherland got a single and was quickly joined on base by Bree Tourtillott after drawing a walk. With runners on first and second, Huff hit one into the gap in right-center to score both runners and land a spot on third base to give FGCU a 3-0 lead.
After UNF brought one back in the second, the Ospreys once again capitalized on errors by the Eagles’ defense to score their second run of the game.
Following a bit of a scoring drought after having their lead cut to one, Innamorato squeezed one through third and short to score Raquel Fournet and Lopez to give the Eagles a 5-2 lead in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Randolph stranded two UNF runners on base with a strikeout and two ground outs to secure the victory for FGCU.
The Eagles will now head back to Fort Myers to host the defending ASUN champions USC Upstate for a three-series. The series at the FGCU Softball Complex will kick off on Saturday, April 8 with a doubleheader before the series final on Sunday, April 9.