FIU Softball Splits Four-Game Series Against FAU

Shortstop Jessica Rivera in FIU’s opening C-USA game against the Florida Atlantic Owls. Photo by FIU Athletics

Fabio Lopez / Staff Writer

The FIU Softball team split a four-game series against the Florida Atlantic Owls on March 21st at home, and on Thursday, April 1st to Friday, April 2nd at Boca Raton.

FAU drew blood first with an 0-8 victory to open the series. FIU struck back with an 8-0 drubbing of their own before stumbling to a 7-3 loss. The Panthers clawed their way back into contention with a 7-4 victory to split their opening C-USA games. 

FIU is now 2-2 against Conference USA opponents, and are 10-15 overall. They sit second place out of the five teams in the Eastern Division.

Game one was quiet on the scoreboard for the Panthers. The Owls scored two runs in the top of second and fifth before adding six in the final inning to conclude a dominant 0-8 victory.

FIU returned the ball, handing FAU an 8-0 loss in the next outing. University shortstop Jessica Rivera opened the game with a home run that allowed infielder Gaby Ruiz to earn an RBI, a run batted in. It gave FIU a 2-0 advantage to close out the first inning.

The Panthers secured three additional runs in the top of the third, courtesy of outfielder Alexis Ross, Ruiz, and Rivera, to make it 5-0. Ross scored an unearned run in the fourth inning, followed by catcher AnnMarie Cooker and third baseman Brianna Hill who secured two RBIs to seal the 8-0 victory for FIU.

Game three began with a 1-1 stalemate in the first inning with Ross scoring once again,  an unearned run. 

FAU responded with three runs in the bottom of the second and third to take a 4-1 lead. The Owls then batted a home run and three RBIs to put themselves up 7-1 in the bottom of sixth.

Despite managing to score two more runs in the bottom of the seventh, FAU’s advantage proved insurmountable as the Panthers succumbed to a 3-7 defeat. 

FIU opened the scoresheet in the final game of the series with first baseman Kayla Whitehead earning an RBI after outfielder Bailey Grossenbacher singled through the right side in the second inning. Rivera earned her fourth home run in eleven games in the top of third, extending their lead to 3-0 lead

FAU narrowed the score to 3-1 before Whitehead batted her first home run of the season to maintain FIU’s three-run lead at 4-1.

The Panthers sealed the game and the series after a scintillating performance in the top of seventh that involved Ross, Rivera, and second baseman Vanessa Gallegos all adding runs to make it 7-1. 

The Owls threatened a comeback in the bottom of seventh, but the 7-run deficit proved too high of a mountain to climb as the game ended 7-4.

FIU will continue their C-USA campaign with a tripleheader against the Charlotte 49ers in North Carolina on Friday, April 16th at 5 pm, April 17th at 1 pm, and will finish off the series on Sunday, April 18th at noon.

About the Author

Richard Gibson
Former Sports Director of PantherNOW

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