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FGCU stays alive in ASUN tourney with 3-0 win over UNF

May 12, 2017
Staff and wire reports ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The FGCU Eagles softball team stayed alive in the 2017 ASUN Softball Championship in Nashville Thursday evening, eliminating tourney No. 3 seed UNF, 3-0, in a losers bracket showdown.

With the win, the Eagles, seeded fourth, will take on Lipscomb, the fifth seed, at 3 p.m. today. The game will be a rematch of the tournament opener for both teams. FCGU won that battle Wednesday, 4-0. Lipscomb bounced back to defeat Jacksonville, the sixth seed, 4-1, in its first losers bracket game Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, FGCU had been sent to the losers' bracket by top-seeded USC Upstate, 3-0.

The Eagles flashed the leather early and often against UNF, with Bri Innamorato and Jeanie Verderese making diving plays at short and second, respectively, to keep the Ospreys off the board.

The Eagles got on the board in the top of the second when Bree Tourtillott came around to score on a bloop single off the bat of Verderese to put FGCU in front 1-0.

The game remained 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, thanks to more defensive gems, including Tourtillott throwing out a would-be base stealer. At that time, Taylor Wade replaced Riley Randolph on the mound in a planned move.

Wade kept the Ospreys in check, keeping the 1-0 lead as the game moved into the seventh. The Eagles put runners on first and second to start the inning before Verderese laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners up 60 feet. Natalie Lopez then brought Tourtillott home with an infield single, which was followed by a Kelsey Huff sacrifice bunt to send Morgan Sutherland home.

Leading 3-0, Wade closed out the game to send the Eagles through to the next round.

Randolph got the win, tossing four scoreless innings while allowing only two hits. Wade picked up her second save of the year, conceding just two hits over three innings.

The Eagles are now 28-29 on the season.

In other tournament action Thursday, USC Upstate edged second seeded Kennesaw State, 5-4, in the winners' bracket finals. Kennesaw State had advanced to that game with a 2-1 win over North Florida Thursday.

Kennesaw State now awaits the winner of the FGCU/Lipscomb battle. That losers' bracket final will be played today at 5:30 p.m.

The tournament's first championship game pitting USC Upstate against the winner of the losers' bracket is at 1 p.m. Saturday. If USC Upstate loses that first game, a winner-take-all second championship game will follow.



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