Junior pitcher helps fuel postseason run for team

Pitcher Megan Kugelmann (21) hurls out a pitch. (Nicholas Poblete/PantherNow)

By Xavier Holloway/Staff Writer

 

As a freshman in college, Megan Kugelman was already breaking softball school records.

She broke the record for the first player in school history, to throw two no-hitters in the same season. The Panthers’ pitcher won Conference USA pitcher of the week three weeks in a row, and also made the Conference USA All-Freshman Team.

Kugelman’s sophomore year didn’t come with any honor accolades as the previous one, however her stats and winning total improved from her freshman campaign. Her win total from her freshman year to sophomore year, jumped from seven to 14, while her 1.93 ERA earned third best in Conference USA.

Currently, Kugelman is playing in her junior season, and her role on the team has expanded into a rotating starting pitcher. The Panthers’ pitcher has appeared in 16 games for the softball team and so far has posted a 5-7 overall record.

In one of her most recent games against the Florida Atlantic University Owls, Kugelman led FIU to 6-1 victory as she struck out six batters in seven innings and allowed only one run.

“I mixed a lot of curveballs, drops, and screwballs. My curveball was working pretty well for me today too,” said Kugelman, following her impressive win against the FAU Owls.

Lately, she’s been on a hot streak, although that wasn’t always the case earlier in the season. Kugelman dropped the first three games of the season when she acted as starting pitcher: a 5-0 loss to Hofstra, a 8-0 loss to St. John’s and a 6-4 loss to East Carolina.

It appears, however, she has gotten over this slump, as she followed it up by going on a three game winning-streak.

This hot streak for Kugelman has helped the Panthers fight for a spot in the upcoming Conference USA tournament in Charlotte, NC. FIU is currently in possession of the the final spot in the standings, and must continue to scrap together wins to hold on to the position.

“I think we have a really high chance,” said Megan Kugelman. “I think we’ll be able to string them [wins] together. I think we’re going be good.”

Next up for the Panthers, the softball team will travel to Denton, TX on April 21, to take on the North Texas Mean Green in a three-game weekend series. First pitch from Lovelace Stadium is slated for 1 p.m.

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