By: Zach Morgan, Contributing Writer
After starting the season 5-2, UNF softball will hit the road to play in its second tournament of the early season.
The Ospreys return to the field at the Eagle Classic Feb. 24-26 in Statesboro, Ga.
UNF will face some stiff competition, including first-day matchups against Albany University and No. 22 Kentucky University. The Ospreys’ trip to the Eagle Classic will also match them up against Jacksonville State and Georgia Southern.
Head coach Marcie Hickey said the team understands the challenge it will face this weekend.
“We’re going to have to be consistent to come out of this weekend ahead of the eight ball,” Hickey said. “It’s not going to be the type of competition where we can sit back and get away with slackin’.”
The team took to the field last week for a double-header against FAMU Feb. 15 in preparation for the Eagle Classic. In the first of their two games, FAMU edged the Ospreys in a low-scoring 2-1 game. UNF got its lone point in the third inning after a fielding error landed Brittany Hendrix on first base. A wild pitch advanced her to second before back-to-back ground-outs allowed her to touch home plate.
Later in the third inning, FAMU’s Kieifi Myrick connected on a two-out, bases-loaded single that scored both runs for the Rattlers. Ashley Brown was credited with the loss after giving up two runs off three hits in 3.1 innings worth of work.
The second game of the double header was a different story. The bats were nice and warm for UNF this time out as they scored eight runs, all of which came in the first three innings of play. Jackie Reese went 3-3 from the plate, driving in four runs and scoring a run herself. Hendrix aided the Ospreys’ offense in game two as well, going 2-3 with two runs scored. Kaylie Wallace earned the win on the mound for UNF. Wallace pitched three innings, striking out three and giving up just two runs on four hits. Kayla Goff closed out the final four innings and struck out five batters and only allowed one hit.
“We had a conversation after the first game, kind of about just relaxing and playing our game,” head coach Marcie Hickey said. “They came out hitting. I think we had 12 hits in the second game. They just looked so much better.”
This season has already started out better than last year. In the 2011 campaign, the Ospreys started out winning just one of its first six games, four less than the total the Ospreys have won through seven games this season.
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