Siena Softball scored three unanswered runs over the final two innings, but their comeback bid fell short as host Florida International held off the Saints 6-4 on the final day of the FIU Classic in Miami, Florida. Freshman Isabelle DeChiaro continued a strong start to her collegiate career in registering two doubles and two runs scored.
Florida International (9-7) opened the scoring with a decisive four-run third. FIU benefitted from three walks and a pair of errors in the frame. The Panthers’ only hit in the inning however proved to be a big one in a two-run single off the bat of Jessica Rivera.
Siena (0-5) got a run back in the fourth on an RBI single by junior Loryn DeFalco to plate DeChiaro, but FIU tacked on two insurance runs to extend their lead to 6-1 in the fifth.
However, the Saints battled back and scored a pair of runs in the sixth to halve the deficit. Junior Madysen Cossack produced an RBI double, and senior Brooke Taylor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home a second run. Siena had a chance to do additional damage with the bases remaining loaded with one out, but Panthers’ reliever Allison Muraskin struck out the next two batters looking to end the threat.
The Saints rallied within two in the final frame on an RBI double by DeChiaro, but could get no closer as Siena fell just short against regional power FIU which won 46 games last season while earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. DeChiaro finished her opening weekend with a 3-7 line at the plate with four runs scored, and drew eight walks to accrue a stellar .733 on-base percentage.
Siena returns to action in two weeks for the Cherry Blossom Classic in Fairfax, Virginia. The Saints open play against Cornell and host George Mason on Saturday, Mar. 10 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.