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FGCU softball falls in ASUN final to No. 1 USC Upstate

(EN Photo / Brad Young)

The FGCU softball team finished their postseason as the runner up in the ASUN Championship. The Eagles made it to the final day of play Saturday afternoon, but fell to the three-time reigning champions, USC Upstate, 8-0.
“It was a great effort all weekend long,” said head coach David Deiros to FGCU athletics. “We knocked out three teams from the tournament, we just ran into a buzz saw and in some cases, we couldn’t get out of our way. They put a lot of pressure on us and we didn’t do the things we wanted to do at that time.”
Coming into the ASUN tournament, the No. 4 Eagles took on No. 5 Lipscomb on Wednesday night. Behind a complete game shutout by Riley Randolph, FGCU was able to come out with a 4-0 victory over the Bisons, advancing to the next round.
The Eagles then took on USC Upstate with the loser of that playing in an elimination game later that night.
FGCU managed just one hit in their 3-0 loss and got set to play No. 3 UNF in the hopes of keeping their season alive.
This time around, the Eagles came away with a 3-0 victory over the Ospreys, eliminating UNF to advance in the tournament.
After nearly a three hour rain delay on Friday, the Eagles picked up two wins over No. 5 Lipscomb and No. 2 Kennesaw State. These victories sealed a finals round for FGCU for a second consecutive year.
FGCU combined to score just four runs in the two games, but that was enough for them to move on.
Playing in their sixth game in four days, the Eagles fell to the Spartans as USC Upstate clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament.
FGCU fell behind 2-0 in the second and couldn’t string together enough hits before the Spartans scored six in the fifth to end the game.
Had the Eagles won that game, they would have needed another win over USC Upstate since the Spartans remained unbeaten all tournament.
“Congratulations to Upstate on a well-played tournament and congratulations to our kids for executing what we wanted to this week. We’ll be back around next year,” said Deiros.
Despite losing in the finals, four Eagles were recognized with post-season awards including Jeanie Verderese, Bree Tourilliott, LuLU Newmark, and Randolph.

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