Santiago Archieri/ Staff Writer
After a 16-7 win over Western Kentucky in the previous series all momentum was broken apart for the FIU softball team as UTEP came into Felsberg Field and took all three games.
The series got underway on Friday, March 25, with a double-header. A lightning delay pushed both games, but the Miners and Panthers took the field after a two and a half hour delay.
The game was locked at 6 a piece in the fourth inning and the go ahead run for the Miners in the fifth proved to be the difference in a 7-6 victory. Three different pitchers took the mound for FIU, but it was Rachel Dwyer who was marked with the loss (2-3). She pitched 3.2 innings, allowing seven hits but retiring 12 batters that she faced.
Dwyer only allowed two runs for the game, while Corinne Jenkins allowed four runs in just 1.0 innings, also allowing 5 hits.
Stephanie Texeira led the Panther batting yet again with two RBI in three at-bats. Jackie Schoff also had a notable game, going 3-4 with two runs of her own. It seems like a broken record for the Panthers this season, leaving 8 runners on base in the first game.
The teams prepared themselves for the second game of the doubleheader, a game in which yet again, a lone run proved to be the difference.
FIU had a quick 1-0 lead in the second inning, and just like in the first game of the night, the Miners managed to erase the deficit and take the victory, this time winning 2-1.
The loss went to Megan Kugelmann (6-3). Kugelmann pitched a complete game with 5 strikeouts, but two earned runs. Texeira had a quiet game, going 1-3, and Schoff went 2-4 with an RBI.
The Panthers left 7 on base and had seven hits for the game and leaving a majority of their players on base was costly yet again.
The night might have ended but the nightmares were just beginning for FIU. Saturday, March 26, UTEP completed the sweep over FIU with a 6-4 win.
For the third straight game, FIU had the lead but failed to hold on. The Panthers were up 3-0 in the second inning, but UTEP scored the next 6 runs of the game in the fourth and fifth inning. The Panthers scored a lone run of their own in the fifth, but that would be the end of their offense for the game and ultimately the series.
The bats were alive early for the Panthers, as 6 singles recorded their three runs in the second inning. Kaitlyn Musa had the fourth straight single for FIU to start the inning, bringing in the first run.
In the fifth inning, Texeira hit her eighth home run of the season to cut the deficit down to 6-4. It was the last run of the game.
Abby Summers dropped to 5-5 on the mound after being marked with the loss. Summers allowed 4 runs in 4.1 innings.
The weekend sweep marks FIU’s fifth straight home loss of the season. After a strong 3-0 strong in Conference USA play, the Panthers are now 4-5 and 18-17 overall for the season.
UTEP improved to 15-20 overall for the season and 5-3 in Conference USA.
Next up for FIU will be another conference matchup, as the Panthers head to Denton, Texas to play North Texas this coming weekend. North Texas is right behind FIU in the Conference USA standings, sitting at 3-6 so far for the season.