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FIU Bows Out of SBC Championship
          Release: 05/11/2012
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BOCA RATON, Fla. (May 11, 2012) - The FIU softball team suffered an 8-0 loss in five innings to North Texas on Friday at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championship at FAU Stadium. The Panthers end the season with an overall record of 28-27.

NT connected for an infield single in the bottom of the first. Following a sac bunt which moved the Mean Green runner into scoring position, a walk put runners at first and second with just one out. A single to right field brought home the first score of the game to give North Texas an early 1-0 lead before an RBI-single up the middle made it 2-0. A third-consecutive single loaded the bases for NT, but freshman Shelby Graves came in to pitch and got out of the early jam on the strength of a strikeout and a fly-out to left field.

In the bottom of the second, NT put its lead-off batter on with a single to right field and a sac bunt once again advanced the runner to second. The Panthers picked up two quick outs to send the game into the third.

Junior Jessy Alfonso drew her second walk of the game with one out on the board in the top of the third before stealing second to get within scoring position. However, a pair of outfield flies left her stranded. NT picked up its sixth hit of the contest with a one-out single to left centerfield in the bottom of the inning, but the Panther defense came through with the final two outs to end the inning.

The top of the fourth saw junior Alex Casals reach first on a hit-by-pitch before Graves recorded FIU's first hit of the game with a two-out single to left field. A foul fly-out would then leave the runners stranded. NT added to its lead in the bottom of the stanza, scoring five runs on six hits, including back-to-back home runs, to increase its advantage to 7-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, NT tacked on another run to end the game as the Mean Green came away with an 8-0 win in five innings.

Sophomore Mariah Dawson took the loss in the circle for the Panthers, finishing the season at 20-13 with 204 strikeouts, a mark which ranks second on the FIU single-season charts. Graves led the Panther offense with one hit on the day, as NT out-hit FIU by a 12-1 margin for the game.

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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Senior Jenn Gniadek
Senior Jenn Gniadek

Courtesy: Roy Viera
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