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Softball Takes Two of Three in Series Win Over Lipscomb

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

After a series win on the road at Jacksonville the weekend prior, the FGCU softball team returned home for a three-game series against the Lipscomb Bisons on March 29 and 30. The Eagles split the opening doubleheader and then took the series win in the third and final game.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Eagles got the scoring underway early. In the bottom of the second inning, the Eagles had runners on second and third with sophomore designated player Madison Carr up to the plate. Carr reached base after an error by the Bisons. That error brought home redshirt junior first baseman Meagan Ricks and junior left fielder Avery Viancos to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead early.

FGCU wasn’t done with scoring in the inning as the next batter, freshman shortstop Sophie Wylie, hit an RBI double through the middle of the defensive alignment that scored freshman Camryn Feast, who was pinch running for Carr. As the inning wrapped up, the Eagles took a 3-0 lead into the third inning.

The Bisons were retired in short order with no runners getting on base. That brought the Eagles back out on the offensive once again in the bottom of the third inning. Despite two quick outs from a line out and an Eagle caught stealing, Lipscomb couldn’t contain FGCU’s offense for one more out.

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Ricks reached first base on a single and Viancos stepped into the box with two outs on the board. Viancos delivered with a huge RBI triple through the left side of the field, bringing home Ricks and pushing the score to a 4-0 FGCU lead in just three innings.

FGCU’s offense did cool off in the following innings, but those four runs early were more than enough. Lipscomb wasn’t able to get its offense going as the Bisons only had two runners reach third base all game. The Eagles came away with a 4-0 shutout win in game one of the doubleheader as senior right-handed pitcher Angelina Bonilla threw a complete game.

Scoring in game two of the doubleheader started even earlier than the first game. In the bottom of the first inning with the bases loaded, sophomore third baseman Nikki Gibson hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored graduate student and center fielder Riley Oakes to give FGCU a 1-0 lead.

Lipscomb responded immediately as in the top of the second inning, the Bisons got a run across the board on a wild pitch to tie the game up at 1-1. More errors from the Eagles came in the top of the fourth inning that proved to be costly.

To start the top of the fourth inning, the Bisons were able to get on base with a single, a batter hit by a pitch and a sacrifice bunt. That put runners on second and third base with just one out recorded. A ground ball was then fielded badly by the Eagles that then led to an error on the throw as well. The Bisons took advantage of the errors by putting unearned two runs on the board to grab a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Eagles showed a little bit of life after Oakes hit a RBI single to left field that brought home junior McKenzie Wittenberg, who came in to pinch hit that inning, and cut the Lipscomb lead to 3-2.

A comeback wasn’t in the cards for FGCU however as the Eagles were only able to get two runners on base in the last two innings of play. The Bisons took game two of the doubleheader 3-2 as the final game of the series would decide the series winner the following day.

The deciding game of this series between FGCU and Lipscomb once again started with early runs by both teams. In the top of the first inning, the Bisons scored on an RBI single to take an early 1-0 lead. That lead didn’t last long as the Eagles responded in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single through the right side by sophomore second baseman Tiffany Meek that scored Ricks to knot the score up at 1-1.

Other than FGCU getting out of a jam in the top of the third inning, both offenses were held in check until the fifth inning. The game was decided in that inning as the Eagles’ offense came alive in a big way.

With two singles to start the bottom of the fifth inning, the Eagles had a chance to take the lead for the first time all game. Coming up to bat next was Oakes with two runners on. In a huge moment, Oakes hit a three-run home run over the right field wall. That home run scored sophomore right fielder Olivia Black and Wittenberg, gave FGCU a 4-1 lead and was Oakes first collegiate home run.

Another run was added by FGCU in the bottom of the sixth inning as Wylie recorded an RBI single that scored sophomore right fielder Emily Chiarella. The run extended FGCU’s lead to 5-1 and that proved to be it as the Eagles secured a series win over the Bisons. The win improved the Eagles’ record to 24-13.

FGCU has been on the road since that series against Lipscomb with trips to North Alabama and North Florida. The Eagles will be back in action at home this weekend against the Stetson Hatters for a three-game series.

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About the Contributor
James Curtis
James Curtis, Eagle News Sports Editor
James Curtis is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in global studies. He is from Tampa, FL, and has known he wanted to be a journalist since taking a journalism class in seventh grade. He has been involved in sports for his whole life, including swimming competitively all the way through high school. His goal now is to be a sports journalist. When not covering sports games or writing stories, he's usually spending his free time with his friends or watching YouTube.

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