Four-Run Sixth Inning Leads FGCU Over UMass Softball, 6-3
March 15, 2009
CLEARWATER, Fla. - #21/14 UMass softball trailed Florida Gulf Coast, 2-1, going into the sixth inning, but four runs on four hits and an error in that inning led the Eagles (30-4) to a 6-3 victory over the Minutewomen (11-6) on Sunday morning in Clearwater, Fla. FGCU had 14 hits, led by Cheyenne Jenks' 3-for-3 with one home run performance. The Minutewomen, who finish the USF Under Armour Classic with a 3-2 record, were led by Whitney Williams with two doubles and two RBI.
Brandice Balschmiter struck out nine batters in 5 1/3 innings of work, but surrendered a career-high 14 hits that led to six runs, five of which were earned. Sara Plourde entered in relief and tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings with one strikeout.
Cat McDaniel (12-0) went the distance for the Eagles, allowing three runs on six hits witch four strikeouts, to lead her club to its 22nd straight victory.
The Eagles struck first in the top of the first inning. Lauran Ziegler struck out swinging to start the game, but reached first on a passed ball. Ziegler stoles second and with two outs Jenks singled to center field to drive her in with the game's first run.
UMass struck back in the bottom of the first. Carly Normandin led off the inning by hitting a ground-ruled double and advanced to third on a passed ball. In the next at-bat, Williams doubled to the left field corner to drive in Normandin and tie the game, 1-1.
FGCU took the lead in the third when Jenks led the frame off with a solo home run to right-center.
The Eagles' big sixth inning started with Desiree Miller reaching on an error, but she was cut down trying to steal second by Jessica Serio. Hayley O'Mora doubled in the next at-bat, which was followed by a bunt single from Lauran Ziegler. Jessica Gary then hit a groundball back to the pitcher's circle and Balschmiter's throw to Serio looked to get O'Mora at the plate, but the homeplate umpire ruled that she got under the tag, giving the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Jessica Paez then singled in a run and after Jenks was intentionally walked, Samantha Waldron singled up the middle to score two more runs and give FGCU a 6-1 lead.
The Minutewomen got a run back in the sixth. Sarah Reeves worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a groundout before scoring on an error by the third baseman on a groundball off the bat of Michelle Libby.
UMass scored another run in the seventh when Kyllie Magill singled through the right side and scored on a two-out double to right-center by Williams to make 6-3.
The Minutewomen return north to open Atlantic 10 play on Sunday, March 22 when they travel to Dayton for a noon doubleheader against the Flyers.
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