Paula Silva / Staff Writer
The FIU Softball team won two out of the three games scheduled for the weekend against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, improving their overall records to 17-21 and ended their nine-game losing streak.
The Friday game started on a good note for the Panthers when the designated player Abigail Brown singled to left field, bringing infielder Venessa Gallegos home for a 1-0 FIU lead in the bottom of the first inning.
This advantage didn’t last long as Middle Tennessee scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning, and then two more in the top of the fourth.
During the top of the sixth inning, the Blue Raiders managed to bring two more runs; however, FIU outfielder Bailey Grossenbacher flew out to right field, scoring Gallegos for a sacrifice fly and making it a 8-2 Middle Tennessee advantage.
The game concluded at the bottom of the seventh, with an 8-2 defeat for the Blue and Gold.
In game two, the Panthers came out of the gates quickly as outfielder Alexis Ross scored a run on the bottom of the first inning on a fielder’ choice from infielder Kayla Whitelead to take the 1-0 lead.
Not long after, in the bottom of the second, with bags full of Panthers, Gallegos hit a a ball deep down the left field line for a grand slam and a five-run advantage over Middle Tennessee.
FIU outfielder Hanna Johanning added an RBI single in the third to make it 6-0 Panthers.
The Blue Raiders fought back in the top of the fifth and seventh inning when they scored their only two runs in each inning, respectively.
However, the Panthers held on for a 6-2 win to split the series.
In the rubber match on Sunday afternoon, FIU took the early lead once again as in the first, Ross scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.
Later in the frame, outfielder Bailey Grossenbacher doubled down the left line, bringing home two more runs in Whitehead and Gallegos to make it 3-0 in favor of the Blue and Gold.
Middle Tennessee answered back, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one.
In the bottom half of the inning, Grossenbacher delivered once again as she doubled to left center for two, adding her RBI total to four and extending the Panthers lead to three.
With a three-run lead, FIU added insurance in the sixth as Ross singled, allowing outfielder Alyssa Laboy to score, making it 6-2 and took the series over Middle Tennessee.
The Blue and Gold’s record currently stands 17-21 overall and 3-9 in Conference USA.
The Panthers will hit the road for a weekend series against the Marshall Thundering Herd in Huntington, West Virginia. The first game is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 at 1pm.