Softball Downs LIU, drops to No. 15 Clemson on opening day

FORT MYERS, Florida. – The FGCU softball team opened the 2022 season on Thursday, splitting a pair of games on day one of the FGCU Kickoff Classic. The Eagles beat LIU, 13-5, to open the day before falling to #15 Clemson, 11-0.

“We had a very good first day,” said the head coach. David Deiros. “It could have been better with a better result against Clemson in Game 2, but I thought our team played together the whole time. I thought we struggled after Long Island took a big lead in the first set. .ally [Hulme] settled in and our offense really came alive and did a great job. Hopefully it’s a harbinger of things to come.”

Overall of the day, redshirt-senior Cana Davis (Harrisonburg, Va./Turner Ashby HS/Virginia Tech) went 5-for-5 in his first games as an Eagle, including a 3-on-3 performance with two RBIs against LIU. Senior McKenna Batterton (Norco, Calif./Eleanor Roosevelt HS) also had a solid day at the plate with four hits, one RBI and two runs scored in the two games.

In the first match against LIU, the Vert et Bleu fell behind as the Sharks scored four points early in the first. Junior Thomas Abbey (Fort Myers, Fla./Southwest Florida Christian Academy) got a run for FGCU as they tackled Batterton with a scoring single late in the first.

junior pitcher Ally Hulme (Safety Harbor, Fla./Sickles HS/State College of Florida) calmed down after the turbulent first inning with three consecutive scoreless frames to keep the Eagle’s deficit to just three runs. Senior Emilie Estroff (Coconut Creek, Fla./Coral Springs Charter HS/Villanova) also debuted in the circle this season with a scoreless run.

In the bottom of the fourth, FGCU scored six runs on five hits and an error from Shark to take the lead. Junior Riley Oakes (Oviedo, Fla./Bishop Moore Catholic HS/Radford) started the scoring by hitting a screaming liner to right center to drive as a sophomore Amaya Gainer (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles HS) from the start. After a Batterton single drove in another run, the Eagles loaded the bases for Thomas, who drove into the even run with a fielder’s pick.

Scoring didn’t stop as a junior Jordyn Gendron (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) gave the Eagles the lead with a two-run single from the right side. Thomas provided the sixth run of the inning as she scored on wild pitch, giving the Eagles a three-run lead after four innings.

LIU salvaged a run in the top of the fifth, but the Eagles responded with another big inning in the bottom half. With two runners, Davis hit a double off the wall to drive in two before the senior Reedy Davenport (St. Johns Fla./Bartram Trail HS) led two others with his own one-two finish.

after junior Neely Peterson (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Cypress Creek HS/Colorado State/Santa Fe College) made it 12-5 with a left single, Davenport scored on an error, securing the Eagles victory with the eight- run la rule of mercy in force.

Against Clemson, the Eagles faced a tough task as they faced All-American Valerie Cagle in the circle.

The Tigers scored a run in each of the first three innings before opening play with three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth.

The Eagles had their best scoring opportunity in the first inning when they had two runners with one out, but Cagle walked away unscathed.

FGCU will return tomorrow night against No. 10 Texas in Game 5 of Day 2 of the Kickoff Classic. The first pitch is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m., but may be pushed back due to the length of previous games.

For up-to-the-minute information on the FGCU softball program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_Softball and Instagram on fgcusoftball and stay tuned at

FGCU softball founding father David Deiros is in his 20th season as head coach in the 2022 campaign. Hired in 2001 to build the program from the ground up, Deiros has since guided the Eagles to a 689- 364-3 (.654), going 162-93 (.632) in ASUN, having 15 seasons with a winning record, and nine campaigns with 35 wins. Deiros is a former head coach at Lely High School in Naples, a 1998 Florida State finalist, and the founding head coach of the 1999 District Champion/2001 Gulf Coast Regional Finalist in Naples.

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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2021) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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