Alex Rivera/Staff Writer
The long 43-game 2020 regular season for FIU Softball starts this Thursday, February 6th in Panther Territory, While conference play does not start until next month, this month will be getting the team up to speed with their coach and new players.
The first team that the Panthers will face in the Felsberg Invitational will be the California Bears, a team that the Panthers have never played, but look to win against the start their season off on the right foot. The Bears start a long road trip, all of their games until March 13th will be played away from their home grounds.
Last year, the Bears had a season they would want to forget: going seven wins, 11 loses at home, five wins and 18 losses in their PAC-12 conference. The last time California won against a C-USA side was the last time they played a C-USA, in 2018 against UTEP in a Hawaii Tournament. At the same time, they have not played a team from Florida since they lost to UF in 2017.
On Friday, the Panthers will play a double-header against Penn State and Michigan State.Unlike their game against California, this will not be the first time the Panthers play against Penn State, the first time was last year in Madeira Beach, where FIU was able to get the win, 3-2. Last season, PSU went 24-32, with 7 wins and 16 losses in the Big Ten Conference. Going into Friday’s game against FIU will the the second game in their double header, the first game will be against California.
The second game of the double header for the Panthers will be against the Michigan State Spartans. Unlike Penn State and California, FIU has a storied history against the Spartans/ The two sides have played each other nine times, all of which were in Miami. Of those nine games, the Panthers have won three and lost six, their last meeting ending in a 5-0 loss for the Panthers in 2019. The last time FIU won against the Spartans was in 2015, 6-0.
The Spartans, like PSU, will start Friday with a mid-day game against Syracuse before playing their second game of the day against the Panthers.
Saturday will see the Panthers’ last game of the tournament against the Syracuse Orange at 3pm. This will be the first time FIU plays Syracuse, a time that finished with eight wins and 16 losses in the ACC last year, and being 21-32 overall. The Orange will have played the same three teams
the Panthers have already played by the time the two sides play each other, with their game against the Panthers being their second game of the day after playing against PSU.
After FIU plays Syracuse, the softball at Felsberg Field continues on Saturday, when Syracuse will play against the Spartans for the second time and Penn State plays against California.