Conquistadors stay in winner’s bracket with 4-3 victory over CRC

Group photo of FNU softball at Keiser University.
Conquistadors stay in winner’s bracket with 4-3 victory over CRC. (May 2, 2024)

(Box Score

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (May 2, 2024) – Florida National’s softball team (22-20) opened the 2024 Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) Softball Championship tournament with a massive win over Crowley’s Ridge College (21-16) in Lawrenceville, Ga. FNU posted a 4-3 victory over the CRC Pioneers thanks to a solid performance from third baseman Janessa Esquibel and designated player Thanysha Gil. 

FNU took an early advantage in the first inning after an RBI double from Gil to run in leadoff hitter Esquibel. The Conquistadors added to their 1-0 lead after second baseman Yleisha Perez grabbed her second home run in her last two contests. Perez blasted a beauty to the left side of the field and a bobbled pass from the left fielder bought enough time for Perez to run in Esquibel before making her own uncontested trip to home plate. 

The Pioneers finally got some offense going in the fourth, scoring Shelby Elrod on a base hit from Hannah Burk. This score was made a moot point after FNU’s shortstop Tara McCaffery connected on an RBI double in the fourth to run in Alexis Lendo to make it a 4-1 affair.

FNU kept CRC at bay until the seventh inning when the Pioneers scored two runs to make it a dangerously close affair. A double from Brooklyn Melson sent pinch runner Bailey Cupples home for the second Pioneer run of the afternoon. This triggered a pitching change for FNU, as Sophia White took over for fellow freshman Brylea Rusler

Despite conceding an RBI single by Dru Bryant, McCaffery made a stellar ground play to first, ending the game and putting out Elrod. Rusler ended the game with the win, conceding three runs and five hits. Esquibel had the best afternoon from the plate, going 2-for-3. 

Up Next: FNU faces CAC Tournament hosts Georgia Gwinnett tomorrow at noon for a spot in the Championship game. 

Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) logo.