After The Panther Invitational, What’s Next For FIU Softball

Second baseman Britanny Phillips against the Detroit Mercy Titans. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Alex Rivera/Staff Writer

FIU hosted their second and final tournament of the season this past weekend and came away with three wins and one loss, all games ending with a score difference of two runs or less.

The Panthers started their weekend with an evening game against the Tulsa Hurricane. Going into the game, the Panthers were 5-8 facing a team with an 11-8 record. The Panthers would be able to open the tournament with a 5-3 win. FIU got three of their runs thanks to Jocelyn Alonso who went two for three in her at-bats. Jessica Rivera and Alexis Johns were able to bring in the other two runs. Pitcher Kendahl Dunford would pitch for five innings, 113 pitches and allowing six hits. 

Friday afternoon the Panthers would face the Ball State Cardinals, who at that point were 16-7. The Panthers got their second win of the tournament with a 4-2 win over that Cardinals. The standouts for the game were Alexis Johns, Kayla Whitehead and Vanessa Gallegos. Both Johns and Whitehead were able to get two hits in three at-bats, but Whitehead had an RBI on top of her hits. Vanessa Gallegos would get her first home run of the season at the bottom of the second, bringing in two runs. Allison Muraskin, who had pitched the last inning of Thursday night’s game, was able to see the entire game through. She would finish the game having pitched 126 times and allowing three hits and walking one player. 

With tournaments that depend on the completion of prior games, it was only a matter of time before a game was delayed by an hour. This happened with Saturday night’s double header, where the Panthers first game of their double header was delayed by an hour. 

The first game of this double header would be against the Samford Bulldogs, who were 9-12 and just finished their first game of the day with a 10-9 over Ball State. In this low scoring game, the Panthers would get seven hits, each hit coming from a different player. 

The first run would come from Tori Jones, scoring off a hit from Alexis Ross. The second run came in extra innings, with Jocelyn Alonso’s hit that would bring in Ross to win the game 2-1. Muraskin would pitch her second complete game of the tournament, 137 pitches, allowing 6 hits and two walks.

The final game for the Panthers in the Panther Invitational would begin at 9:30pm, with temperatures dropping. The Maryland Terrapins with a 10-10 record, having played Tulsa earlier in the day. Rivera had a good day for her record, going two for two in at-bats and drawing two walks. She would also bring in a run and score a run. 

Alonso would have two RBIs and two hits in four at bats, continuing from her performance from the game earlier in the day. Alexys Lawson would be the starting pitcher for the Panthers, but in the second inning should would be replaced by Muraskin, after allowing four runs. 

Muraskin would allow three hits and one run in 83 pitches. Muraskin would throw 220 pitches in one day, and 363 over the entire weekend. The Panthers would lose the last game of the tournament 3-5. 

From here, the Panther’s season moves to a more traditional weekend format, and with that the start of C-USA play. For the first time this season, FIU will be going out of state to play the Marshall Heard in Huntington, West Virginia for their weekend series. 

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