SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014
@JUsoftball Hits Three Homers in Split Against FGCU
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
Lexie Ballard (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University softball split its double-header on Saturday against Florida Gulf Coast, falling 4-2 in game one before closing the day with a 7-6 victory.

Jacksonville stands 15-25 overall and 6-13 in the Atlantic Sun. FGCU sits at 24-21-1 and 7-10, respectively.

Victoria Brown led the Fins on the day hitting .600 (3-for-5) with two runs, one homer and one RBI. Charli Bradshaw (3-for-6, 2 R) and Ashley Simon (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) follow at .500. Brooke Smith (2-for-5) followed at .400 with two home runs and 4 RBI.

GAME ONE: FGCU 4, JACKSONVILLE 2

FGCU’s Jessica Barnes opened the game with a lead-off, full count solo home run to center field for a 1-0 advantage. Two batters later, Chelsea Zgrabik hit a two-run homer that plated Makensie McAvoy for a three-run lead. Taylor Rossman replaced Brown in the circle.

FGCU increased its lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Alexis Ross scored from third base on Kirsten Bembnowski’s RBI single to deep right center.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Dolphins cut the Eagles’ lead in half at 4-2 with two runs on four hits. Pinch hitter Simon hit an RBI single past second base that scored Bradshaw from second base while Sable Lee followed with an RBI single to second base that brought home Brown.

In the circle, Brown allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits in the first inning. Rossman entered for relief and allowed one run (one earned) on seven hits.

FGCU’s Shelby Morgan (9-5) allowed two runs (two earned) on 10 hits and one walk.

GAME TWO: JACKSONVILLE 7, FGCU 6

With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning after Brown knocked out a solo shot to center field, JU recorded its winning run three batters later when Smith reached first base on a FGCU error and Simon scored from second base for a 7-6 contest.

JU recorded three home runs in the game, including two from Smith.

FGCU led off with two runs in the top of the frame. Kelsey Carpenter hit an RBI single to left center that plated Jessica Barnes while Brittney Garabedian also knocked an RBI single to left field that plated Zgrabik.

In the bottom of the third inning, Smith made it a 2-1 game with a lead-off solo shot to center field. In the fourth, Lee smacked an RBI single to center field that plated Karson Tuck. Smith then knocked out a three-run homer for her second of the game that scored Bradshaw and Lee as JU took a 5-2 lead.

The Eagles closed the gap at 5-4 in the top of the fifth inning after a controversial play. Bembnowski was credited with a single and Ross advanced to second after initially it appeared that there was interference as the ball hit Ross’s leg while running to second base. The umpires called it a single and play continued instead of the Eagles earning their third out. Pinch hitter Hannah Horwatch then reached on an error and Ross and Carpenter scored.

In the top of the sixth inning, FGCU took a 6-5 lead when Ross hits a two-run homer to score Carpenter. But it wasn’t long as JU tied the game 6-6 and eventually earned the 7-6 win.

In the circle, reliever Jessi Walker (3-4) earned the win over 3.2 innings pitched. Walker allowed two runs (zero earned) on two hits and three walks. Rossman recorded the save, re-entering in the top of the seventh inning. Brown tossed 2.0 innings and allowed two runs (two earned) on five hits and one walk.

FGCU’s Amanda Josie took the loss, allowing six runs (six earned) on seven hits and one walk. Morgan entered for relief and allowed one run (zero earned) on one hit and two walks.

Next, Jacksonville will conclude its series against FGCU on Sunday at 1 p.m.