(Box Score) (Box Score 2)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2023) – Florida National University’s softball team displayed great hunger in its 2-0 sweep of the Keiser Seahawks. Former Conquistador head coach, John Pryor is in his first season at the helm with KU (2-4) and was denied a victory by a fiery Conquistador (5-6) squad looking to squash a four-game losing skid. FNU secured a dominant 11-3 win in game one and survived a more competitive 4-3 extra-inning classic in this south Florida battle.
In game one, Keiser got on the board first with a two-run, three-hit inning with two runners left on at the bottom of the first. Everything seemed to be going the home team’s way in West Palm Beach, Fla., as a sacrifice fly in the second inning resulted in another Seahawk score. FNU up until this point had recorded no hits as third baseman Tara McCaffery committed an error in the first. FNU came alive in the third, as a two-RBI single from Bailey Fernandez allowed Yleisha Perez and McCaffery to run in for the score to make it 3-2. This would cap off a much-needed two-run three-hit third inning for the Conquistadors.
Fernandez would go on to score another run in FNU’s masterful fifth inning. Senior Sydni Bigeli, Perez and Ana De Oliveira Obando all scored one run a piece as FNU gained a 6-3 lead with two innings left to play. FNU topped off this win in the seventh, tacking on five runs and four hits to deliver the 11-3 victory. Pitcher Dakota Kulis did a solid job down the stretch for the Conquistadors from the circle, walking just one Keiser batter and recording two strikeouts.
In game two, FNU picked up right where they left off as Perez and Megen Johnson collected two early runs to give FNU a 2-0 lead. Kesier answered back with a run of its own in the fourth, after retiring the side with three hits and two runners left on. The Seahawks tied up the game on an RBI single to center field forcing the game into extra innings after neither team could breakthrough down the stretch.
At the top of the eighth, McCaffery’s RBI single to left field allowed Perez to slide in for the score, closing a two-hit, one-run inning for the Conquistadors. But Keiser’s savior Lizzy Small’s sacrifice fly to center field allowed teammate Tess McGann to even up the game at three apiece. In the ninth, an RBI single courtesy of Jordan Bohn sealed a game-winning run for Sabrina Castelli. Jona Goolsby and FNU’s fielding produced three outs to end the game at the bottom of the ninth.
FNU collected eight hits and one error while the Seahawks had 10 hits and no errors.
Up Next: FNU softball turns its attention to week one at the Space Coast Games in Viera, Fla.