Fort Myers, Fla. - Host FGCU (31-25, 14-6 Atlantic Sun) handed the visiting Stetson softball team (19-27, 4-12 A-Sun) a pair of stinging 1-0 and 7-0 shutout defeats Friday evening that eliminated the Hatters from contention to make the A-Sun Tournament. Stetson had qualified for 11 consecutive conference tournaments and will miss the postseason for the first time since 1999.
In the opener, freshman center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) led off the ballgame with a bunt single, but Eagles pitcher Cat McDaniel would not allow the Hatters another base hit all evening. FGCU catcher Kirsten Bembnowski gave her team the only run it would need with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.
Three Eagles pitchers combined to blank Stetson on two hits in the nightcap; Stephanie Sullivan earned the win in relief of Kelci Breaux with McDaniel returning to close the game down with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings for the save.
FGCU scored its first run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, going up 2-0 on an RBI single later in the frame; Emily Lanier added a two-run single in the fifth and Brittney Garabedian blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin. Down 4-0 entering the top of the sixth, the Hatters gave themselves a chance by putting two runners on with nobody out, but McDaniel entered and induced a double play and a strikeout to end the threat.
Stetson is off until next Saturday, April 30 when it visits North Florida for a 1 p.m. A-Sun doubleheader. Fans can watch those games on ASun.TV with Live Stats links at GoHatters.com.
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