AVE MARIA, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2024) – Florida National University’s softball team (2-1) left Ave Maria, Fla., with a clean sweep of the Ave Maria University Gyrenes (3-3). The Conquistadors picked up their eighth win over AMU in 12 meetings dating back to 2020.
In game one, Florida National’s defense was the true star of the show, protecting an early 1-0 lead after a single from Heather Cuddy allowed Gabi Obando to score off an error from AMU’s left fielder. The Gyrenes posted two costly errors in the loss, while FNU was able to play a clean game and keep the pressure on AMU to put runs on the board. Obando continued to have a strong game, doubling FNU’s lead in the third on a single to second base that ran in Yleisha Perez.
FNU’s fielding was stellar down the stretch, as AMU had just two hits after the fourth inning leading up to a very important seventh frame. The Conquistadors were unable to add runs in the top of the final inning, leaving the door open for the Gyrenes to sneak out a win or send the game to extra innings.
Despite an early walk in the frame, Janessa Esquibel did a masterful job from the circle, grounding out two Gyrene batters and giving up just one run to Annie Nudera. Moments later, FNU ended the game on a flyout on AMU’s Marisa Michi. The Conquistadors posted four hits in the victory, while AMU won that battle with six.
In game two, AMU took an early lead off an RBI sac fly from Michi in the first. FNU was denied a score until the top of the third when an error from AMU’s second baseman pushed Sabrina Castelli home. With the score at 1-1, AMU’s shaky play continued to hurt them as Alyssa Songer scored on a passed ball to give FNU its first lead of the game. The Gyrenes could not get out of the inning, giving up three more runs and RBI singles to Jordan Bohn and Castelli.
Commanding a 5-1 lead entering the fourth, FNU added another score off an impressive inning from former Gyrene Alexis Lendo. The Spring Hill, Fla., native singled, stole second base and scored on a single from Esquibel before FNU ended the inning on a popup to the shortstop.
AMU made it interesting in the bottom of the fourth, picking up three runs and four hits to make it a 6-4 contest before FNU was able to retire the side. Both teams were denied a hit or a run for the next two innings heading into the seventh.
The Gyrenes were denied a victory despite picking up two hits in the inning as Ava Burke was put out on a one-three ground play to end the game. AMU once again won the hits battle 8-7 and recorded the only error of the contest.
Up Next: The Conquistadors visit Florida Memorial on Feb. 8.