March 25, 2005
The Florida International University softball team swept a doubleheader with Siena Friday afternoon at University Park, taking game one, 5-1, followed by an 11-2 five-inning win in game two. The Golden Panthers improve to 22-16 on the year while the Saints fall to 5-10.
The 11 runs scored in game two was FIU's highest offensive output since an 11-3 win over Rhode Island last season on March 9. It also ties for the fifth-largest single-game run total in school history.
Senior Amanda Nealer (Everett, Wash.) went the distance in both games, yielding just three runs (one unearned) and two walks on the day to improve to 12-9.
The Golden Panthers will not play a competitive game until the first weekend of Sun Belt Conference play when FIU travels to North Texas for a four-game set on April 9 and 10. The team will host Barry in a scrimmage on Tuesday, April 5.
Nealer struck out five while scattering one run on seven hits in FIU's 5-1 victory in the first game of the day. Tara Cambell (1-4) was charged with the loss after issuing five walks and three hits in four innings of work, giving up three runs.
Senior Marleah Stapf (Hudsonville, Mich) went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored while freshman Brook Ruiz (Los Alamitos, Calif.) was 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the FIU offensive effort.
The Golden Panthers started the scoring in the bottom of the second. Stapf hit a two-run single to center, scoring Ruiz and sophomore Brittany Witherow (Palm Springs, Fla.). Stapf later scored after junior Cassie Parker (Lake Wales, Fla.) doubled off the center field wall, giving FIU a 3-0 lead.
Siena threatened in the top of the third, but Nealer got out of a two-out bases loaded jam by striking out Adrian St. Cin to get out of the inning.
The home team tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of bases-loaded walks issued by reliever Jannelle Iaquinto.
The Saints pulled a run back in the top of the sixth. St. Cin doubled to left center to score pinch runner Norah Haddad.
Siena jumped out to an early two-run lead, but FIU quickly erased the deficit before running away with an 11-2 mercy-rule win in five innings, thanks in part to six Saint errors. The Golden Panther batters held the opposing pitching staff without a strikeout for the first time this season.
Nealer gave up just one earned run on one walk and five hits while fanning four batters. St. Cin (4-3) took the loss, giving up eight runs (two earned) on four walks and six hits in three innings of work. Iaquinto pitched the fourth inning, yielding three runs on five hits.
Siena put two runs on the board in the top of the first before FIU could record an out. Carrie Getz led off with an infield single, and then advanced to second after Andrea Piela reached on fielding error. Jennifer Granato loaded the bases with a bunt single, followed by a double to right by Sarah Rose to score Getz and Piela. Nealer retired the next three batters to avoid any further damage.
The Golden Panthers stormed back to grab a two-run lead of their own on just one hit in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Deomni Murray (Lakeland, Fla.) walked to start the inning, and then stole second. Parker then bunted and reached on a dropped throw at first, allowing Murray to score on the error.
Parker came around with the tying run after sophomore Tabitha Embry (Philpot, Ky.) reached on a fielding error at shortstop. St. Cin later walked freshman Ashley Falk (Snowflake, Manitoba) and junior Dee Joy (Port Orange, Fla.), each with two outs and the bases loaded, allowing Ruiz and Embry to score.
FIU posted four more runs on the board in the bottom of the third. Stapf and Falk each singled to start the inning, but Joy lined into a double play to take Stapf off the basepaths. Falk then stole second before Murray beat out the throw on a bunt single. Murray proceeded to start running toward second, enticing a rundown which allowed Falk to score from third for a 5-2 Golden Panther lead.
Parker then reached on a dropped throw at first, allowing Murray to score on the error. Junior Jennifer Powell (West Palm Beach, Fla.) drove in Parker with an RBI single to center, giving FIU a 7-2 advantage. Powell scored on the ensuing play after a single to right by Ruiz. Haddad attempted to throw out Powell at third from right field, but the third baseman was unable to gather the throw, permitting Powell to cross the plate.
Freshman Tracey Deleon (Pensacola, Fla.) pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the fourth, and singled through the left side on the first pitch. She took second on a wild pitch, and then advanced to third on a single by Stapf. Falk drove in Deleon with an RBI single up the middle, while Stapf alertly crossed home after the center fielder misplayed the ball. Parker later capped the scoring with an RBI double through the left side to score Murray from third.