Paula Silva / Staff Writer
The Panthers welcomed their FIU Softball Invitational with two straight losses on Friday against the South Dakota Coyotes and Stony Brook Seawolves. The opening game ended in a 13-3 loss, and FIU fell again during the nightcap, when they were defeated 6-2 to Stony Brook.
In the Friday afternoon game against South Dakota, outfielder Brooke McCann, catcher Carmen Perez and center fielder Madison Lewis earned runs for FIU, turning the game in their favor in the first two innings. However, South Dakota fought back and scored 13 runs for the remainder of the game.
On Friday’s nightcap, the Panthers faced Stony Brook and lost 6-2.
By the fifth inning of Friday night’s game against Stony Brook, FIU was silent on the scoreboard, while the Seawolved bounced up to a six run advantage.
FIU’s McCann and infielder Sam Bodell eventually brought two runs in, but it wasn’t enough to close out Friday night.
During the Saturday session, FIU tasted victory by winning their game against the Drexel Dragons by a score of 3-1. They followed that up with another win against the Brown Bears in their nightcap in which they won 5-0.
Lewis scored a three-run triple during the first inning of the game with Drexel, making FIU take the lead of the game, while pitcher Brooklyn Linnenman tossed five innings and a two-hit shutout.
During Saturday’s nightcap, the Panthers had an advantage when they scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, performed by McCann, and first base Kayla Whitehead.
Outfielder Brittany Phillips was the next player to complete a run at the bottom of the first inning, soon to be followed by second base Venessa Gallegos. FIU secured one last run in the bottom of the sixth when Brianna Hill touched base.
Sunday’s session was equally successful for the Panthers because they carried on their winning streak by defeating both of their games against Brown and Drexel.
FIU defeated Brown 4-2 to begin the day. The game started with the Panthers losing with a 2-0 score at the top of the second inning. However, in the bottom of the second, Gallegos and infielder Gaby Ruiz scored two runs, tying the game.
Lewis and outfielder Bailey Grossenbacher joined them in the bottom of the sixth when they scored two more runs, claiming victory for FIU.
During Sunday’s nightcap, the Drexel’s Dragons took advantage of the game when they performed their first run on the top of the second inning.
In the bottom of the third, Gallegos laced an RBI single, allowing McCann to score a run, tying the game 1-1. Outfielder Alyssa Laboy upped the score in FIU’s favor during the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Dragons performed two runs in the top of the sixth, making the game 3-2, once again dominating the field.
In the bottom of the sixth, McCann, Perez, and infielder Adriana Otero offered runs for the Panthers, this time making the score 5-3.
In the following inning, the Drexel team scored a double run, once again tying the result. Lastly, in the bottom of the seventh, Ruiz scored a walk-off run on a wild pitch, claiming victory for FIU.
“Our goal is to compete, be the best that we can be, and if we do that I think good things will happen,” said Coach Larabee following the final win. “We have to continue to get better offensively. We’re playing good defense, but we don’t want to be good, we want to be excellent, so we got to pick up the defense a little bit as well.”
This weekend’s results improves the overall result for FIU Softball to 8-9 overall.
The Panthers will play again at Felsberg Field on Wednesday, March 2 with a doubleheader against St. John’s at 10 a.m.