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Softball prepares for conference play vs. Stetson

Coming in with a 25-6 record, the FGCU softball team will open conference play with a series versus Stetson at home.

The two teams will play a double-header on Saturday starting at 4 P.M. and then play Sunday at 1 P.M.

The Hatters have also had a strong start to the season winning 20 of their 30 games, but will be playing their first game as a visitor this season. All 20 of Stetson’s wins have come at home and they have lost five games at neutral fields.

Offensively, the Hatters are led by Ashly Smith with a .468 batting average. Both Kasey Fava and Molly McLauglin each have battling averages well over .300 as well. What makes Stetson so dangerous is that they have lots of power and have hit 18 home runs this season. However the Eagles also have hit for a lot of power and also have 18 home runs this season in one more game.

On the mound, they have had two starters start all but one game. Tori Perkins is 12-5 with an ERA of 2.28 and Jamie Tino is 8-4 with an ERA at 2.68. The two of them have pitched 22 complete games combined and has used just two other pitchers this season.

For the Eagles, just about the only thing that has gone wrong for them was the loss of their star player Natalie Lopez to a torn ACL. She led the country for a period of time with the highest batting average and finished her senior season batting .500. This has though given opportunity for some other players to get in the lineup and nobody has taken advantage more than Kate Kelly who is third on the team in batting average.

Raquel Fournet continues her incredible career with FGCU as she leads the team with 23 RBI’s. She is coming off a double header where she drove in all four runs including the walk-off hit in the first game and then another RBI in the night cap.

The biggest strength this season has been on the mound as the team has allowed just over one earned run per game. Riley Randolph has been the ace all season with a 10-2 record and despite a rough outing in her last start, designated closer Taylor Bauman is just two saves away from tying the single season save records in college softball at 15.

This will be the 31st meeting between the two teams with Stetson having a 17-13 edge. Following this series, the Eagles will travel to Spartenburg, South Carolina to take on the reigning ASUN Champions, USC Upstate for their first road series of the season.

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