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Dawgs drop close game to Eagles

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Dawgs drop close game to Eagles

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

For the second day in a row, a home run by a Florida native sparked the Saluki softball team, but this time it wasn’t enough.

Sophomore second baseman Savannah Fisher, an Orlando native, sent a 2-0 pitch down the left field line for a three-run home run in the top of the fourth. The homer drew SIU within two of Florida Gulf Coast, but the Eagles would not be denied.

FGCU (3-5) beat SIU (5-3) by a score of 6-5, led by freshman first baseman Racquel Fournet’s three-run home run a half inning before Fisher’s. It was the first home run allowed by the Salukis in 47 innings this season.

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Fournet finished the game 3-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs.

Freshman pitcher Brianna Jones was pulled in favor of sophomore Savanna Dover after the home run. Jones (3-2) finished with seven hits allowed, six earned runs, one walk and one strikeout in the loss. Her ERA is now 1.68.

Scoring started early, for both teams in Saturday’s contest. SIU’s freshman left fielder Eryika Brandenburg tripled on a 2-0 count to start the game. Junior first baseman Shaye Harre’s sacrifice fly three batters later scored the freshman.

Harre finished the game 2-3 with two RBIs.

FGCU answered right back. Sophomore left fielder Kelsey Huff started the Eagles off with a single but was then thrown out by sophomore catcher Sydney Jones while trying to steal second.

Huff and Jones were summer league teammates on the Lady Gators beginning in high school after playing on the Wellington Wild together as children.

With two outs, the Eagles rattled off three-straight hits to plate two runs. The runs were Jones’ first earned runs of the season. She went 23.2 innings without an earned run.

SIU had a chance to answer back in the top of the second but left two runners stranded after senior designated player Caylee Cook and junior center fielder Merri Anne Patterson led off the inning by reaching base.

Jones answered right back and shut the Eagles down with a 1-2-3, 11-pitch inning.

FGCU opened the bottom half of the fifth with a walk and a single to put runners at the corners with no outs, but Dover would get out of the jam with no runs allowed.

The Salukis attempted a final-inning comeback but fell just short as Fisher flied out with the bases loaded to end the game.

SIU closes out the FGCU Tournament at 10:15 on Sunday against Hofstra (5-3).

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333

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