FGCU softball players ready for NCAA Tournament debut

Author: Zach Oliveri
Published: Updated:

A new venue brings a new opportunity for Florida Gulf Coast softball. The Eagles went through practice inside Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium at the University of Florida in Gainesville Thursday afternoon. This was the team’s final practice before playing the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in 12 years.

“I’m so grateful that we’re here,” FGCU outfielder Avery Viancos said. “Grateful that we have the drive and that we’re just getting ready and we’re ready.”

“Yes there’s nerves like freshman nerves and everything but this is what we prepare for our entire season and careers,” FGCU pitcher Allison Sparkman said.

Growing up, these Eagles players idolized the players and teams who had magical moments in the postseason. Now, they’re assuming that spot.

“It’s just so cool that now I’m doing the same thing I watched growing up,” Viancos said. “My dreams coming true.”

“I’d like to hope that maybe I can inspire some other girls,” FGCU infielder Tiffany Meek said. “I’ve had some younger players that I kind of used to be the older sister when I played travel ball and they’ve been telling me they’re going to come watch me play and stuff.”

The Eagles start Regional play against the hosts, the No. 4 Florida Gators. Back in March, the Gators shutout FGCU 9-0. As the Eagles head into a rematch to start regional play, the mindset is clear.

“Everything we’ve done this season has prepared us for this moment,” FGCU softball head coach David Deiros said. “We played the opponents that we played to be ready for this level of competition. And we’ve thrived in that environment so just play the game you’re used to playing it.”

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