Softball heads into conference play on a hot streak

Zach Morgan

(Photo by Andrew Noble)

By: Zach Morgan, Contributing Writer

The UNF softball team will begin Atlantic Sun play against Stetson University March 26 on an eight-game winning streak.

UNF has been busy recently, and just when things seemed to be going downhill, the Ospreys were able to come together and get hot when it mattered most.

Heading into the second Osprey Invitational March 10-11, UNF held a 10-8 record and was looking to the home tournament as an opportunity to boost its record. However, UNF completed the tournament without a win.

After being shut out by Kansas 1-0, the Ospreys attempted to rebound in their second game. Delaware State followed the game plan set forth by Kansas and defeated the Ospreys with a familiar 1-0 score.

The next day, UNF got a shot at redemption with matchups against Kansas and Delaware State again. Though they weren’t shut out again, the Ospreys were unable to score enough runs to record a victory and finished the tournament 0-4 and on a seven-game losing streak.

Before the slide began, UNF was 10-5 and headed for a great season, but the Ospreys were not quite finished.

Following the seven-game slide, the Ospreys took a day off to regain some steam before facing Northern Iowa in a mid-day double-header March 13. The Ospreys showed grit and the ability to close games, something they were unable to do in their previous seven contests.

UNF won the first game 5-4 and finished off the Panthers in an 8-inning thriller, 4-3 behind the strong pitching of Kaylie Wallace, who finished the day with both victories and allowed just one run on the day.

Next up for the Ospreys was an early trip south to Clearwater to take on Boston University March 15. The team played great defense throughout the game and defeated BU by a 3-1 score in extra innings, their second consecutive extra-inning victory.

With the tune-up victory over BU under its belt, the team stayed put in Clearwater for the USF Invitational the next day, March 16. In their first contest, the Ospreys stuck it to Long Island with an 8-2 victory. UNF continued its impressive win streak with victories against Towson and Northern Illinois before finishing the tournament as strong as they started with two wins on March 18. The wins included a shortened, 6-inning, 9-1 shellacking of Dartmouth.

With their showing at the USF Invitational complete, the Ospreys are now ready to begin conference play.

UNF responded to the seven-game losing streak by stringing together eight straight victories in just six days.

UNF begins conference play when it travels south to DeLand for a double header against Stetson University. Sixteen of the Ospreys’ next 17 games are against conference foes.

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