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FIU Falls to South Alabama in SBC Championship
          Release: 05/11/2012
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BOCA RATON, Fla. (May 11, 2012) - The FIU softball team dropped a 9-1 decision to South Alabama in six innings on Friday morning in the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship at FAU Stadium. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 28-26 on the year and move on to an elimination game against North Texas. First pitch is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Following a three and a half hour weather delay on Thursday, South Alabama put two runners on in the bottom of the first on back-to-back walks before the Jaguars connected for a double to drive in a score and take a 1-0 lead. A two-RBI triple ensued with South Alabama taking a 3-0 lead into the second inning.

Freshman Shelby Graves posted FIU's first hit of the contest with a two-out single up the middle in the top of the second, but she was left stranded on a groundout to first. South Alabama added to its lead in the bottom of the second stanza, scoring two runs on three hits to gain a 5-0 lead.

In the top of the third, sophomore Megan Horne reached first on an error and a second Jaguar error allowed sophomore Erika Arcuri to reach safely. South Alabama would then bounce back with a double play to put two outs on the board and a strikeout left Arcuri stranded at second.

Senior Ashley McClain capitalized on a third Jaguar error to lead off the top of the fourth and a putout at first sent her to second base. With two outs on the board, an infield single from Graves sent McClain across the plate to put FIU on the board at 5-1, and junior Alex Casals followed up with a single to right field, but a groundout to the pitcher ended the half-inning for the Panthers.

Junior Kayla Burri connected for FIU's fourth hit of the game with a two-out single up the middle in the top of the fifth, however, the Jaguars came through with a third out once again to bring the half-inning to a close.

A second weather delay followed, ultimately resulting in a suspension until Friday morning. The contest resumed at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, as South Alabama homered on the first pitch to extend the Jaguars' lead to 6-1. A two-run homer followed to make it 8-1 and a single through the right side in the bottom of the sixth ended the game, giving South Alabama 9-1 win.

Graves led the FIU offense with two hits and one RBI while McClain scored the Panthers' lone run of the contest. Senior Jenn Gniadek took the loss, falling to 8-11 on the season, as she gave up four hits and five earned runs in 1.1 innings of work. Sophomore Mariah Dawson pitched 4.0 innings of relief, striking out four batters and allowing four earned runs on six hits.

About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.

About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit

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Freshman Shelby Graves went 2-for-3 in the loss.
Freshman Shelby Graves went 2-for-3 in the loss.

Courtesy: Roy Viera
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