Following a win over Jacksonville on Sunday, the FIU softball team looks to keep the momentum as they host five teams at the Blue and Gold Felsberg Memorial starting Friday at 6 p.m. against Michigan State.
FIU (2-3) ended the opening weekend of the 2009 season and the FIU Combat Classic in the bottom of the 8th inning when senior Desiree Fink drew a four-pitch bases loaded walk to beat Jacksonville 2-1.
The Golden Panthers also got a 10-2 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Two of the losses went down to the wire. Against No. 18-ranked North Carolina, the game was scoreless in the seventh inning until an error resulted in a 1-0 loss for the Golden Panthers. On Saturday, FIU took Auburn to nine innings, but lost 2-1. Their other loss was a 5-1 decision against tournament champion Louisville.
Freshman Jennifer Gniadek (1-2) made her collegiate debut against the Tar Heels and didn’t give up an earned run in 6.1 innings. After pitching five innings of one-run ball against Auburn, she pitched 5.1 innings of relief to get her first win against Jacksonville. Gniadek walked nobody and struck out 10 while giving up just one hit against the Dolphins.
Junior transfer Paige Cassady (1-0) pitched seven innings and gave up two runs to get the win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Seniors Jessica Landau and Katie Bell currently lead the team with five hits each. Bell scored four runs and hit two doubles over the weekend. Fink and Ashley McClain each drove in three runs over the five games.
Here is a glance at all five teams participating in the Blue and Gold Felsberg Memorial.
Live stats of every game can be found at FIUsports.com.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
FGCU went 48-16 last season and 3-2 so far this year. They beat Illinois State, UNC Greensboro and North Florida while losing to Minnesota and South Florida at the USF Louisville Slugger Tournament. Cheyenne Jenks and Jessica Carter are both hitting .500 and combined to hit three of four home runs hit by the Eagles. Catherine McDaniel leads the pitching staff with a 2-0 record and has 12 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.
- FIU vs. Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.
Georgetown opens its fourth season of softball this weekend. Last year, the Hoyas won 21 games, the most in program history. They are led by junior shortstop Samantha Peters, the Independent Player of the Year, who had .380 had 16 home runs and drove in 50 RBI’s. This is the first ever meeting between the Hoyas and the Golden Panthers.
- FIU vs. Georgetown on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.
Michigan State Spartans
MSU is coming off a 27-29 2008 season where they finished seventh in the Big 10 with an 8-12 conference record. Second baseman Gina Mondo returns after hitting .337 with seven home runs and 32 RBI’s last season. Shae Bass and Megan Hair are the top returning pitchers who combined to go 11-8 in 2008.
- FIU vs. Michigan State on Friday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.
St. John‘s Red Storm
St. John’s starts the 2009 season after going 20-35 a year ago. They return catcher Kacee Cox who hit .329 with nine home runs and 34 RBI’s in 2008. The Red Storm’s top returning pitcher is Kat Lawrence who started 28 games last season and finished with 10 wins and 167 strikeouts. This is the first ever meeting between the Red Storm and the Golden Panthers.
- FIU vs. St. John’s on Friday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m.
Joe DiPietro starts his tenure as the Temple head coach after a six-year stint as head coach of La Salle where he accumulated 77 wins. Last season the Owls finished 15-24 overall and 5-17 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Courtney Norene returns after hitting 10 home runs and 21 RBI’s with a .290 batting average. This is the first ever meeting between the Owls and the Golden Panthers.
- FIU vs. Temple on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.