The UNF women’s softball team (7-4) barely tasted defeat as they hosted the Osprey Invitational, winning five of the six games.
On Feb. 17, the Ospreys faced Eastern Illinois for the first time of the Invitational of game one of its doubleheader. Freshman Kayla McGory hit her first home run in her collegiate career and the first UNF home run this season. The Panthers finally scored in the sixth inning getting two runs of their own. The Ospreys scored in four consecutive innings. The Ospreys ended the night with seven hits pushing them to victory for a final score of 6-2.
North Florida defeated Kansas for the first time in program history after an epic ten-inning long battle. The Ospreys started off slow, not scoring in the first three innings. They would turn around and score four runs in the fourth inning, tying the game. The Jayhawks were able to pick up two more runs in the seventh and eighth inning but it was not enough. Junior Macayla Kelley sealed the deal with a walk-off home run at 1:12 a.m. pushing the Ospreys to victory, making the final score 8-6.
The Ospreys continued their winning streak on Feb. 18 defeating both South Dakota State and Georgia State.
The Ospreys started off strong against South Dakota State scoring three runs and holding the Jackrabbits to one run in the first inning. The Jackrabbits did not give up against the Ospreys. After back-and-forth scoring, the Jackrabbits trailed by one run with a score of 5-6 at the end of the fifth. Victory slipped away from the Jackrabbits. The Ospreys scored one run in the seventh inning making the final score 7-5.
North Florida collected their second walk-off win against Georgia State. Both teams went scoreless in the first inning, but by the end of the second the Panthers led 2-1. During the seventh inning, the Panthers picked up one run to tie the game 3-3 sending the game into extra innings. In the ninth, senior Jen Valle hit over second base bringing UNF to the 7-6 victory at 12:59 a.m. ending day two of the invitational.
On day three of the Osprey Invitational, UNF had their first and only loss in a rematch against Eastern Illinois. The Panthers came out swinging with six runs by the end of the third. The Ospreys were unable to keep up with only two runs by the end of the sixth. Right when it looked as if the Ospreys had given up, they made a glorious comeback, scoring six runs in the seventh inning compared to the Panthers’ two. The game was sent into extra innings. After the eighth inning the score was still tied, sending the game to a ninth inning. UNF was able to get three runs on the board but it was not enough to beat the Panthers’ five runs scored in the ninth. The final score was 14-12 giving the Ospreys their fourth loss of the season.
The Ospreys jumped right back into winning mode and defeated South Carolina State 8-2. North Florida did not score in the first inning while the Bulldogs were able to pull out two runs. The Bulldogs did not score any other points in the entire game. The Ospreys went on to secure two runs in the third, three runs in the fourth, one run in the sixth and two runs in the seventh. UNF was able to close out the last game with the win.
After the invitational, the Osprey’s record moves to 7-4 this season. The Ospreys will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to battle the University of Alabama on Feb. 22.
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