CAROL CITY, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2024) – Florida National University’s softball team (3-2) splits a doubleheader to the previously undefeated Florida Memorial University Lions (5-1) in Carol City, Fla. The Conquistadors lost game one 2-1 but bounced back in game two 3-2. This is the first time FMU has conquered a win over FNU with the Conquistadors holding a 5-1 record against the Lions dating back to 2022.
In game one, FNU was handed three quick outs to start the contest while the Lions got on the board first with a single from centerfielder Ciara Justice that ran in Ciera Taylor. Before the hit, Taylor was able to get on base thanks to an error from FNU’s shortstop. In the second, Sabrina Castelli got FNU’s first hit of the ball game on a single to first that put Tara Mccaffery in scoring position. FNU was unable to capitalize on this after Alyssa Songer was fouled out.
Florida Memorial doubled its lead in the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to left by Leneaya Silva. FNU kept the bats hot with hits from Yleisha Perez and Castelli in the third and fourth innings that resulted in no runs.
FNU finally got one on the board thanks to an RBI single from Gabi Obando in the fifth that cleared the way for Perez’s and FNU’s sole run of the afternoon. FNU was unable to get anything going in the sixth, and despite putting up two hits with Emma Edwards at third in the top of the seventh, FMU closed out the inning to take the win in game one.
In game two, FMU once again took an early lead, this time off an RBI double from Mariana Gongora. The Lions saw their lead increase to 2-0 in the third thanks to a single through the left side from Breanna Reyes that sent Taylor safely to home plate. In the fourth, FNU was able to put a run on the board on an RBI single from Heather Cuddy that advanced Edwards to second and scored Obando.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fifth, and FNU put themselves ahead after a two-run, one-hit inning. FNU’s hit came from veteran outfielder Sydni Bigelli, as the Warwick, RI., native launched a two-RBI single to center field. FNU held a 3-2 lead and the Lions posted three quick outs in the seventh. This left the door open for FMU to extend or win the game at the bottom of the frame. Despite giving up three walks, FNU’s fielding took care of the Lions with a popup to the pitcher and a flyout to center.
Up Next: Florida National is back in action next week in Lake Wales, Fla., versus Warner on Feb. 13.