LAKE WALES, Fla. (March 27, 2021) – The Florida National softball team (14-11) split a doubleheader with the No. 18-ranked Warner Royals on Saturday, dropping the first game, 15-4 (5 innings) and upending WU in Game Two, 9-6 (9 innings).
In Game One, FNU struck first, scoring four runs in the top of the first. RBI by Megen Johnson, Madison Bradshaw, Taylor Tuner, and Julia Frank gave the Conquistadors an early, 4-0 lead.
WU cut into the FNU lead, driving in two in the bottom of the first and then took the lead with a five-run bottom of the second. The Royals added five more runs in the third and four if the fourth to make the score 15-4.
Unable to plate anymore runs in the top of the fifth, the contest ended via the mercy rule, 15-4 in five innings.
The Conquistadors rebounded in the second game. After a Royal score in the bottom of the first, Gabriela De Oliveira gave FNU a 2-1 with a two-run homer to left field. The home run blast was the first of the Boca Raton native’s collegiate career.
The score remained 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Warner battled back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs to send the game to extra-innings. Both teams plated two runs in the eight to make the score 5-5 after eight, requiring one more extra frame of softball.
An bases-loaded-clearing-triple by Gabryella Hay pushed to score to 8-5 in favor of the Conquistadors in the top of the ninth. FNU extended its lead with a sac fly by Johnson, 9-5. With the Royals only able to muster one run in the bottom of the ninth, FNU upset the nationally-ranked home team, 9-6.
Brandi Kirkpatrick (6-3), who suffered the loss in Game One, came in out of the pen to earn the victory, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings of relief.
With the split, FNU improved to 14-11 on the year, having won eight of its last 10 contests.