FORT MEYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast used a triple in the bottom of the eighth inning that led to the go-ahead run in a 3-2 extra innings win over the Dartmouth softball team on Thursday (March 21).
The host Eagles tied the game up 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning and from that point the teams battled back-and-forth. Both teams had chances in the seventh. Dartmouth ‘s Katie McEachern (San Diego, Calif.) posted a leadoff single and was moved to second with a sacrifice bunt from Katie Adams (Kent, Wash.) but a strikeout ended the threat.
Florida Gulf Coast put runners on the corners in the bottom of the seventh but a foul out and a heads up out at home plate sent the game to extra innings. Mariah Fernandez capitalized in the eighth inning with her lone hit of the day, a triple, while a sacrifice fly scored her and gave the Eagles the win.
McEachern and Morgan Wharton (Binghamton, N.Y.) led the offense both going 2-of-3 from the plate. Kelsey Miller (Mansfield, Texas) also added a hit in the contest. Morgan McCalmon (Norman, Okla.) got the start in the circle and threw 6.0 innings of work with a career-best eight strikeouts and allowing just two runs. Kristen Rumley (Katy Texas), who came in to close the game out, dropped her second consecutive game, moving to 7-3 on the season.
The game was a battle of defenses from the outset, as neither team could generate much offense throughout the contest. The Eagles put the first runner on base in the home half of the first inning. With two outs, Mariah Fernandez was walked and followed with a stolen base. She moved all the way to third on an error but McCalmon ended the threat with a strikeout.
Dartmouth (8-7) looked as if they might get on the board in the second inning using a double from Miller in the second at bat of the inning. Miller moved to third with a ground out but Eagles pitcher Amanda Josie threw a strikeout of her own to end the inning.
McCalmon made quick work of the Florida Gulf Coast in the bottom of the inning throwing three straight strikes to give the Big Green some momentum heading into the third. Wharton opened with a leadoff double but that would be the only base runner for Dartmouth in the inning.
Florida Gulf Coast (22-9) opened the scoring in the third with a run from Kelsey Carpenter, courtesy of a sacrifice fly and double from Tori Williams.
Not discouraged the Big Green went to work in the fifth inning, tying the game up 1-1. McEachern got the offense going with a double down the right field line. Adams was walked in the next at bat, to put a runner in scoring position. Wharton came up big and with an RBI single scored McEachern.
The bases remained loaded and with a sacrifice fly from Kara Curosh (Munster, Ind.), Adams rounded the bases and gave the Big Green a 2-1 lead.
The Big Green close out their tour of Florida at the FAU Parent’s Weekend Tournament. Dartmouth opens tournament action on Friday with a 9 a.m. game with Iowa State. The Big Green will also face host FAU, Elon and Bethune-Cookman in tournament action.
Dartmouth at Florida Gulf Coast
FGCU 3, Dartmouth 2 (Mar 21, 2013 at Fort Myers, Fla.)
Dartmouth........... 000 020 00 - 2 5 1 (8-6)
FGCU................ 001 001 01 - 3 6 0 (22-9)
Pitchers: Dartmouth - McCalmon, Morgan; Rumley, Kristen(7) and . FGCU - Josie, A.; Owen, J.(5); Morgan, S.(5) and . Win-Morgan, S.(10-5) Loss-Rumley, Kristen(7-3) T-1:59 A-97 Weather: 70, sunny and clear skies