Brian Olmo | Sports Director
FIU Athletics has received a $2 million donation from four donors, making it the largest one-time philanthropic gift in the program’s history, Athletics Director Scott Carr announced on Monday, April 10, 2023.
The donation funds the construction of a new weight room facility at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center, renovation of the football locker room at R. Kirk Landon Fieldhouse and installation of hydrotherapy recovery rooms.
Carlos Duart, a member of the FIU Board of Trustees, and his wife, Tina Vidal-Duart, who’s on the FIU Foundation Board of Directors, have given $500,000 to the gift. The other three donors chose to remain anonymous.
Baseball couldn’t get themselves in the win column last week, going 0-3 in their three-game series against LA Tech from April 14-16 at J.C. Love Field in Ruston, Louisiana.
The first game of the series kicked off with the Panthers scoring in the top of the second inning. Junior Adrian Figueroa scored redshirt senior Alec Sanchez with a double to put FIU up 1-0.
After the Bulldogs responded with two runs off sacrifice flys by redshirt junior Adrius Myers and senior Walker Burchfield, LA Tech exploded to a massive 7-1 lead after scoring five runs total in the third and fifth innings.
FIU began to mount a comeback at the top of the sixth. Redshirt senior Mike Rosario hit a solo home run and Sanchez a two-run home run to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 7-4.
Redshirt junior Henry Wallen would score Sanchez with a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 7-5, but that’s where the offense ended for the Panthers as they fell in the series opener.
Game 2 was a relatively low scoring affair highlighted by exceptional pitching and defense by both teams.
After five scoreless innings, FIU finally broke free when junior Ruben Carpio hit a single to drive in Rosario, 1-0.
LA Tech scored in the eighth on an RBI single by junior Dalton Davis to give the Bulldogs the lead before Sanchez hit a solo home run to snatch it right back for FIU, 2-1.
The Bulldogs responded to send the game to extra innings, where senior Philip Matulia would hit a walk-off solo home run to seal the win for LA Tech, 3-2.
The series finale saw the Bulldogs jump out to an early lead, scoring six unanswered runs from the first inning to the fourth.
FIU finally got on the board at the top of the fourth, as Sanchez would hit his third solo home run of the series to score. Wallen then hit an RBI double, making the score 6-2.
LA Tech kept chugging straight ahead, scoring three more runs at the bottom of the fifth to give itself a 10-3 advantage.
The Panthers tried equalizing with a home run from redshirt senior Craig Palidar, but it was too little, too late. FIU fell 10-5 in the final game of the series.
Softball fell 9-1 to the UCF Knights, extending their losing streak to four on Tuesday, April 11, at the UCF Softball Complex in Orlando, Florida.
Junior Chloe Evans got the Knights going with a triple and score off an FIU error in the second inning.
Right after, junior Shannon Doherty followed up with her sixth home run of the season to give UCF a 2-0 edge. Doherty’s home run moves her up to fourth on the UCF all-time list with 26.
The Knights then unleashed a three-run third inning to soar to a 5-0 lead.
Evans smashed in her second triple of the day to bring home redshirt senior Jasmine Williams and freshman Aubrey Evans. Doherty followed up with a run-scoring single.
Holding a massive lead, UCF still didn’t take its foot off the gas pedal, scoring four more runs in the fourth for good measure.
FIU scored their only run of the night in the fifth when freshman Morgan Adams hit an RBI double to score sophomore Lindsey Burroughs. The team’s offensive efforts for the rest of the day fell completely flat as UCF ran away with the win, 9-1.
Junior Sarah Willis kept the Panthers in jail, throwing four scoreless innings while only allowing three hits. Willis continues her dominance on the mound with a .169 batting average-against and 56 strikeouts this season.
The Panthers sit at an 18-22 overall record and are 5-10 in conference play, ranking them eighth in Conference USA.
Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11