Conquistadors fall prey to Tigers in first SCWS loss

FNU softball player Janessa Esquibel.
FNU softball player Janessa Esquibel.

(Box Score

DuBois, Pa. (May 16, 2023) – For the first time in Florida National University’s softball history, the Conquistadors have fallen into the losers’ bracket of the USCAA Small College World Series. The 10-1 five-inning loss came versus an excellent Salem University Tigers team on day two of FNU’s stay in DuBois, Pa.

The Conquistadors got on the board first, capitalizing on one of two Tiger errors. Designated player Bailey Fernandez safely reached first on an error from the Tigers shortstop and allowed leadoff hitter Yleisha Perez to cruise home for the 1-0 lead before retiring the side. 

This lead was obliterated in the third as the Tigers put up five runs on two singles, a double and a wild pitch from FNU starter Jona Goolsby. At the top of the fourth, the Tigers continued to circle the diamond with four runs and six hits. Looking to switch things up and give Goolsby some much-needed rest, right-fielder Janessa Esquibel took over from the circle and placed Sydni Bigelli at the nine spot.

In one inning of play, Esquibel got the Conquistadors out of the inning with just one run scored and allowed three walks. The West Minster, Co., native was electric in her next at-bat, getting on board with a single right up the middle. Catcher Kaylee Pitman also moved FNU runners along the diamond with a single of her own. 

A few plays later, Sabrina Castelli reached first on a fielder’s choice before Esquibel was thrown out at third. Shortstop Megen Johnson managed to force a walk but FNU could not hold on to force a sixth inning. 

FNU racked up four hits and one error while Salem had 15 hits.

Up Next: FNU softball looks to keep its championship hopes alive with a must-win game tomorrow at noon.


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