FT. MYERS, Fla. (April 9, 2011) - The ETSU softball team will be happy to get out of Ft. Myers after Florida Gulf Coast swept the Bucs in a pair of five inning games, 9-1 & 8-0, on Saturday afternoon in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader from the FGCU Softball Complex.
With the sweep, the Bucs dropped to 14-24, 3-9 in the A-Sun, while the Eagles - who have now won all eight games in the series over the Blue and Gold - improved to 25-21, 8-2.
Game One Recap
Florida Gulf Coast scored nine runs in the first and that was more than enough offense for Catherine McDaniel to work with in the circle as the Eagles cruised to a 9-1 five-inning win in game one.
Senior catcher Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) recorded her 13th multi-hit game of the season after she went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored. Junior right-hander Shelby Morris (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) entered in relief with only one out on the board in the first, but managed to hold the Eagles scoreless on two hits in the final three innings of play.
Consecutive walks to begin the bottom of the first came back to haunt the Bucs as Courtney Platt hit a three-run bomb to straightaway center, putting the Eagles up, 3-0. Once again the Florida sun and small strike zone continued to give Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) trouble as Kayla Gabel drove in two more runs, making it a five-run deficit for the Bucs and an early exit for the senior righty. From there, Morris entered in relief and FGCU added four more runs on the board to make it a 9-0 game before Morris got Mariah Fernandez to hit into an inning-ending pop out to third.
Morris held the Eagles scoreless for the final three innings, but the nine-run deficit was too deep a hole for the Blue and Gold to dig out of.
The only offense generated from the Bucs came in the fourth inning when Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) drove in Henderson with a sac-fly to left to make it a 9-1 affair. ETSU could have done more damage as Henderson, Jackie Baird (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) led off the inning with three consecutive singles, but Henderson was the lone Buccaneer to cross the dish.
McDaniel earned the five-inning win after she issued one run on five hits to improve her mark to 12-9, while Duncan - who was fresh off her strong outing Thursday evening at Stetson - dropped to 7-10 after being charged for six runs on two hits in one-third of an inning.
Game Two Recap
The same storyline occurred in game two as the Eagles scored five first-inning runs and Stephanie Sullivan tossed a one-hitter en route to the Eagles capturing the sweep, 8-0.
Three Buccaneer batters reached base as Marlina Delisa (Tucson, Ariz.) broke up the no-hit bid with two outs in the fifth, while Jackie Baird and Katie Henderson both reached on errors.
Once again the Bucs had difficulties getting out of the first inning as the Eagles struck for five runs on six hits and led 5-0 after one inning of play.
Things didn't get any better for Katie Wolff and the Bucs in the second as Courtney Platt drove in a pair of runs with a triple to right-center, while Kirsten Bembnowski's sac-fly made it an 8-0 contest.
The eight-run lead was more than enough to guide FGCU's Stephanie Sullivan to her fifth win of the year. Meanwhile, Wolff was handed the loss (1-5) after she was tagged for eight runs on 11 hits in four innings of action.
The Bucs continue their eight-game road swing on Friday afternoon when ETSU travels to Macon, Ga. for conference battle with Mercer. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m.