Panthers escape with narrow win over Ospreys

Junior Alexis Ross for FIU. Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Richelieu Valery | Staff writer

The Panthers clawed their way back into a late victory against the North Florida Ospreys after being down 3-1 through six innings on April 19, 2023, at UNF’s softball stadium.

Since 2014, FIU is a perfect 4-0 against UNF and 5-0 all-time when playing at UNF’s softball complex.

FIU started the game off strong with junior Carmen Perez letting off a single to left center, plating junior Alexis Ross after her own single earlier at bat. 

After the score, the Panthers loaded the bases with the help of UNF, but were unable to capitalize, ending the top of the first with three runners left on base.

UNF matched the energy in the bottom half of the first when their big hitter junior Chloe Culp stepped up to the plate and blasted a triple to right center, recording an RBI which plated senior Kayla Harper who reached on a walk. 

The game was at a stalemate until the Ospreys scored at the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, senior Shannon Glover doubled to left field, bringing home sophomore Hadlee Reichert. 

FNU then scored right after a pitcher’s change. Culp came up to bat again and recorded her second RBI of the game by singling up the middle and plating Glover. 

The Panthers entered the top of the seventh down 3-1. 

After the first out, the Panthers loaded the bases and scored on three consecutive at-bats.

It started with freshman Isabell Perez who was walked that allowed freshman Kaleena Downing to walk home putting the game at 2-3.

FIU’s Carmen Perez, who recorded an RBI at the beginning of the game, got that itch again as she blasted a two-run double to left field bringing home Ross and senior Frankie Izard to put the Panthers up 4-3. 

With Isabell Perez still on base, freshman Ella Whitney plates her with a sacrifice fly that would be the last run of the inning, 5-3. 

Freshman Brooke McNichols would seal the win for the Panthers, pitching a perfect seventh inning after being subbed into relief. McNichols only allowed three hits with no runs. 

Follow Richelieu Valery on Twitter @RichelieuWrites

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