FNU exits week one in Viera with 2-2 record

FNU softball player Heather Cuddy holding a bat.
FNU exits week one in Viera with 2-2 record. (March 1, 2024)

(Box Score) (Box Score 2)

VIERA, Fla. (March 1, 2024) – Florida National University (12-11) completed its first of three weekends at the 2024 Space Coast Spring Games with a 2-2 record. The Conquistadors took home another win over The University of Michigan-Dearborn (0-8) 6-3 and headed home with a 7-4 loss to Goshen College (11-3). FNU recorded nine hits over UM-Dearborn and four hits in their contest opposite Goshen. 

UM-Dearborn fell behind in the second frame of game one off an RBI single to left from Tara McCaffery that ran in Yleisha Perez. The Conquistadors posted two hits in the frame before UM-Dearborn put out Janessa Esquibel on a caught flyball to left. Perez posted a hit in the third but FNU was held scoreless after the Apopka, Fla., native was forced out on a 6-4 groundout to end the frame.

In the fourth, pinch runner Alexis Lendo went to work with a stolen base and a run after McCaffery singled to second. Esquibel singled in her next at-bat in the frame, advancing McCaffery and Ciara Santiago to second and third, respectively. 

Michigan did have some momentum with two hits and a runner in scoring position with Onyckah Ulik. Despite being held scoreless once again, UM-Dearborn broke through in the sixth on a two-RBI single to right center from Lindsay Marlewitz. Luckily for FNU, they went on to post a four-run, three-hit inning in the sixth to secure the win. 

FNU’s Madison Chiudina kicked off the scoring run on a wild pitch before Emma Edwards and Sophia White posted RBI singles. Perez posted an RBI sacrifice fly before Michigan ended the inning. Grace Colclasure went on to post an RBI groundout in the seventh but FNU ended the game only out to left. 

Goshen claimed its second win over FNU in as many days, taking an early in the first with three runs and three hits in the frame. RBI singles from Olivia Gibson and Carissa Fillingame highlighted a stellar inning for GC as FNU retired the side on Edwards’ strikeout. FNU bounced back in the second, posting singles from McCaffery and Esquibel, scoring Perez and Sophia White. 

Esquibel continued to be clutch for the Conquistadors in the fourth, getting on board with a hit and scoring Santiago. An RBI groundout on Cuddy afforded enough time for Perez to slide into home and give FNU a 4-3 lead. After a scoreless sixth, Goshen went off for two RBI sacrifice flies and a pair of RBI singles. GC racked up four hits in the frame and held a comfortable 7-4 lead. 

FNU did have a chance at the bottom of the frame with two runners on board before Bianca Bartow was forced out on a popup to second to end the game. 

Up Next: FNU returns to the 2024 Space Coast Games on March 8 for a six-game weekend.

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