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FGCU softball falls to No. 3 Florida, 3-0

Florida Gulf Coast University catcher Ahnie Jumper, of the Big Cypress Reservation, protects the plate during the Eagles’ 3-0 loss to No. 3 Florida on April 21, 2021, in Fort Myers. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

The Florida Gulf Coast University softball team’s bats never got on track against Natalie Lugo and the University of Florida Gators on April 21 in front of 278 spectators in Fort Myers.

Powerful Florida (33-6), which has played in the national championship game three times in the past six years, scored twice in the first inning on a two-run home run by Cheyenne Lindsey and tacked on another run in the seventh to blank the Eagles, 3-0. FGCU played the No. 3 ranked team in the country evenly except for those bookend innings.

“A lot of credit goes out to our pitching staff and defense,” FGCU coach Dave Deiros said. “We did a nice job of keeping them at bay after the first two hitters. We did a good job of keeping it close but we just had to do a better job offensively, not necessarily sitting back and being a victim but taking the game more to them.”

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Ahnie Jumper sprints to third base in the third inning of the Eagles’ 3-0 loss to No. 3 Florida on April 21, 2021, in Fort Myers. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

Part of FGCU’s strong defensive performance came from the Seminole Tribe’s Ahnie Jumper. The senior catcher, from the Big Cypress Reservation, threw out Sarah Longley at second base on an attempted steal in the fifth inning.

Offensively, Jumper entered the game in the third inning as a pinch runner. FGCU mustered just three singles in Lugo’s five innings of work, and two came in the third from Abbey Thomas and McKenna Batterton. Jumper was the only Eagle to reach third base, but was left stranded on a popup that ended the inning.

Jumper’s lone at-bat came in the fourth. She flied out to right-center on a 3-2 pitch.

Katie Chronister earned a save by tossing two hitless and scoreless innings.

Starter Sarah Lawton took the loss for the Eagles (21-16).

FGCU’s six remaining regular season games are all within the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Eagles lead their division with an 11-2 record.

Jumper and other Eagle seniors will be honored at the team’s final regular season home game April 25 against Jacksonville at 1 p.m.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Ahnie Jumper makes contact in her only at-bat in the Eagles’ 3-0 loss to No. 3 Florida on April 21, 2021, in Fort Myers. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Florida Gulf Coast University senior catcher Ahnie Jumper, of the Big Cypress Reservation, is the center of attention as the Eagles get fired up before facing No. 3 Florida on April 21, 2021, in Fort Myers. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
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Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. He also worked for more than a decade in management and public relations for a hockey program in New England that produced several college and NHL players. Contact Kevin at kevinjohnson@semtribe.com.
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