College softball: Palmetto Ridge grads Metzger, Stevens leave team at FGCU

Stephanie Metzger (Palmetto Ridge) 2011 softball player of the year. Greg Kahn/Staff

Photo by GREG KAHN // Buy this photo

Stephanie Metzger (Palmetto Ridge) 2011 softball player of the year. Greg Kahn/Staff

ESTERO — There are no more Naples players on the Florida Gulf Coast University roster.

Catcher Stephanie Metzger and second baseman Lauren Stevens, both of Palmetto Ridge, decided to give up on the sport last summer after their freshman season.

"It's always a surprise because it's such a big decision for them to basically hang up their cleats," FGCU coach David Deiros said. "I figured they'd give it another shot.

"But it is what it is. We wish them well because they're both great kids."

Metzger, an early childhood education major, and Stevens, who's pursuing a criminal forensics and psychology degree, are still at FGCU.

"They're both still full-time students at FGCU and they both are advancing nicely toward their degree," said Deiros, who has known both girls since they were 10.

Both were four-year starters at Palmetto Ridge and two-time all-state and Daily News All-Area team members. They played for three state champion travel teams, and in the 2006 and 2008 USSA World Series.

But they didn't play a major role as freshmen at FGCU, which won the Atlantic Sun regular-season and tournament titles, and knocked off fifth-ranked Florida in the Gainesville Regional last season.

Metzger played in 30 games and started four, batting .179 with an RBI. Stevens played in six games, starting one, and hit .200 with a run scored.

"They didn't play very much and I think that factored into it," Deiros said.

A-Sun preseason favorite FGCU opens its season at Florida International on Wednesday night.

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