Burri’s sacrifice fly hands FIU series win over UNT

The Panthers have won four of their last five games dating back to March 14 (Jonathan Segal/The Beacon)

By Anthony Guivas / Staff Writer


The Panthers have won four of their last five games dating back to March 14 (Jonathan Segal/The Beacon)

With the Panthers splitting their double header against North Texas on Saturday, FIU was able to win the rubber game of a three-game series against the Mean Green – this time in an extra-inning affair.

FIU 15-14 (3-1, SBC) took care of North Texas in a tight 6-5 game on March 26 at home.

North Texas got off to a hot start, lacing a pair of home runs in the first inning to grab an early 3-0 lead.

Jenn Gniadek got the start but only lasted two frames while giving up four earned runs on six hits. Mariah Dawson, who leads the Sun Belt in total strikeouts, replaced Gniadek. Unlike the first game of the series where she pitched a complete game but got the loss, Dawson was able to control the tempo for FIU.

“I came in with the mindset that I’m not going to get mad no matter what happens. I’m just going to stay positive towards everyone and stay confident within myself,” Dawson said.

Dawson pitched six innings, allowing only two hits while giving up one run.

North Texas notched another run in the top of the third, extending their lead to 4-0. The FIU bats came out in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs, cutting the deficit to one. An Ashley McClain single that scored Kayla Burri from second and moved Beth Peller to third got the Panthers started.

With runners on first and second, the North Texas starter issued two bases on balls–one to Brie Rojas that loaded the bases and one to Jessy Alfonso giving FIU another run on the scoreboard. One out later, Kelsey Grabiak laced an infield single to third base, scoring FIU’s third run.

FIU snatched their first lead of the game in the fifth inning as the Panthers played small ball. After getting back-to-back singles from McClain and Rojas, Alfonso laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners over. Alex Casals then hit a shallow fly ball that scored McClain and movde Rojas to third. Grabiak then followed up with a bloop-single, handing FIU a 5-4 lead entering the seventh inning.

But North Texas wouldn’t go away. In the seventh, Brooke Foster hit a home run to send the game to extra-innings.

In the eighth, Erika Arcuri led off with a double and was then moved to third thanks to a Megan Horn’s sacrifice bunt. The game then ended on a walk-off sacrifice fly in foul territory by Burri. Arcuri tagged from third base to win the game.

“With UL [Louisiana] in our conference, every single game matters. We need as many wins as we can. So the more we win, the better we can be, especially against teams like these. We should be able to beat them all three games” Dawson said.

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