DUBOIS, Pa. (May 19, 2021) – A diving catch by right-fielder Zaira Nunez in the top of the seventh sealed a 5-4 victory for the Florida National softball team (27-13) over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. With the win, FNU moves onto Championship Thursday with a shot to claim this year’s USCAA Softball National Championship.
With runners on first and second, a one-run lead, and two outs, relief pitcher Natasha Trujillo faced SMWC’s Kelsey Young, who lined a shot to right field. Nunez made a diving catch towards the right-field line to end the game and give the Conquistadors their 27th win of the season.
The Conquistadors led the entire contest, starting with a two-run bottom of the first. Gabryella Hay and Gabriela De Oliveira each drove in a run to give FNU the early lead. Both Hay and De Oliveira drove in two runs each. Hay notched her second RBI in the bottom of the fourth with a triple to right field and De Oliveira recorded a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth.
Nini Underwood scored a pair of runs in game, including the eventual game-winner on the De Oliveira sac fly. Underwood batted 2-for-3 on the day with an RBI.
Nunez was not only a star in the field but also came up big for the Conquistadors at the dish, hitting 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Starter Brandi Kirkpatrick (9-4) picked up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts in five innings of action. Trujillo earned her first save of the season, giving up just one run on four hits with three Ks in two innings of relief.
The Conquistadors will await the winner of the elimination bracket (7:00 p.m. Wednesday night) for a chance to claim the program’s first USCAA National Championship on Thursday, May 20. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.