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Walk-off home run ends UNF Softball’s quest for first ASUN title

The UNF softball team made a valiant run in the ASUN tournament but came up short in the championship game, losing 7-6 to FGCU in extra innings on Saturday. 

The Ospreys earned the second seed in the tournament and played their first game on Thursday. They defeated Central Arkansas to advance to the ASUN semifinals after Shannon Glover launched a walk-off home run past the left-field fence. 

Glover accounted for five RBI’s in the game, leading to the Ospreys 6-3 victory. Allison Benning notched her 18th pitching win of the season, and UNF was set to play FGCU in the semifinals on Friday. 

Allison Benning achieved her 18th victory of the season in the Ospreys win over Central Arkansas (Photo Courtesy of UNF Athletics)

This, however, did not go the Ospreys’ way. A seven-run inning by FGCU was the difference in the defeat, as the Eagles smashed 15 hits en route to an 11-5 win, giving UNF its first tournament defeat.

The Ospreys were one loss away from elimination and had to prevail two times on Saturday to win the championship. North Florida’s first opponent was Eastern Kentucky, a team that held the best ASUN record and received the #1 seed. 

Unfazed and prepared, the Ospreys used a complete game from two-way player Allison Benning to take down top overall seed EKU and move on to the ASUN championship. North Florida was set for a rematch against FGCU with a trophy and a postseason appearance on the line. 

The game started as a back-and-forth and high-scoring affair as the Ospreys opened up the scoring with a three-run first inning. North Florida quickly surrendered the lead as FGCU responded with a five-run first inning. UNF took the lead right back in the second, thanks to a pair of miscues by the FGCU defense. 

However, the scoring quickly dwindled once both teams brought in their best pitchers. Benning came in during the long first inning, shut down the Eagles and almost pitched another complete game. The junior only gave up one hit and struck out seven hitters, but the Ospreys offense failed to score after the second inning. 

Benning’s pitching pushed the game into extra innings, but a walk-off home run by FGCU ended the Ospreys’ season and journey to an ASUN title. North Florida only managed three hits after the second inning after putting up six hits in the first two frames. 

North Florida finished the season with a 35-19 record, the program’s second 35+ win season since 2022 and third ASUN championship appearance since 2019. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Ethan Howick
Ethan Howick, Sports Reporter
Ethan Howick is a first-year communications major at the University of North Florida. Ethan has a passion for sports journalism with hopes of becoming a journalist and/or broadcaster for a sports media company someday. During his free time, Ethan enjoys spending time with his family and attending many sporting events with friends.
Justin Nedrow
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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