FNU returns from month hiatus for showdown versus Webber

FNU softball players in a huddle.
FNU returns from month hiatus for a showdown with Webber. (April 16, 2024)

(Box Score) (Box Score 2)

BABSON PARK, Fla. (April 16, 2024) – Florida National University’s softball team (17-18) has not touched a field since March 16, but returned to action in a mid-April rematch against the Webber International University Warriors (19-25). Webber grabbed a hard-fought 6-4 win in game one and game two saw WIU hold on for a 1-0 victory. The last time these two teams met on Feb. 22, FNU split its 2024 home opener versus the Warriors, losing game one 7-2 before claiming a 1-0 win in game two. 

FNU fell behind early to start this battle in Babson Park, Fla., giving up three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Haley Saylor got things going for the Warriors after scoring pinch runner Hannah Booth on a single to left center. A show-stopping triple from center fielder Gracie Lopez posted two more Webber runs before FNU ended the frame on a pop out to second.

The Warriors lead was short-lived as critical missteps put FNU in a position to score two runs in the top of the third. Pitcher Jenna Chaudoin hit Yleisha Perez with a costly pitch with the bases loaded to run in Ciara Santiago. Alyssa Songer was the next Conquistador to make it safely to home plate, thanks to a passed ball from Webber’s catcher, Rachel Lamoureaux.

WIU left one stranded in the bottom of the third and FNU tied the game on an error from Webber’s second baseman that scored pinch runner Sydni Bigelli. A wild pitch from Chaudoin bought enough time for Sabrina Castelli to give the Conquistadors a 4-3 lead. Webber tied it up in the bottom of the frame, however, on an RBI single from Alexi Watkins. 

WIU pulled away in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of timely runs. Lopez answered the call with a huge RBI double in the frame and eventually tallied a run on a base hit from Thalia Romero. FNU ended the game with seven hits and an error, while WIU recorded nine hits and three errors. 

Game two of the doubleheader was a close affair, as Brandy Barquin’s heroic RBI single through the right side in the sixth inning turned out to be the difference maker. Watkins was the only player to score a run in the contest, as FNU was held to five hits while Webber recorded six. The Conquistadors did have pinch runner Makayla Monckton on first in the seventh but fell short of the mark after two game-sealing outs from the Warriors. 

Up Next: Softball hosts New College of Florida April 19 for a noon doubleheader in Weston, Fla.

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