UNF softball downed in A-Sun Championship after impressive opening game

Joslyn Simmons

UNF senior Kelly Wilson brought her college career to a close with 33 stolen bases for the season.Photo courtesy SE Sports Media/UNF Photos
UNF senior Kelly Wilson brought her college career to a close with 33 stolen bases for the season.
Photo courtesy SE Sports Media/UNF Photos

The No. 4 seed UNF Ospreys fell short last week in the Atlantic Sun Championship Tournament in Fort Myers, Florida.

In the first game of the tournament on May 6, the Ospreys crushed the No. 5 seed Jacksonville University Dolphins with a 12-1 victory. North Florida scored at least one run per inning throughout the entire game against the Dolphins. UNF’s Lexi Taylor had two RBIs and three hits during the game. UNF pitcher Kaylie Wallace threw all five innings for the Ospreys, giving up just the one run that was scored in the top of the fifth inning.

This victory was the Ospreys’ Head Coach Marcie Hickey’s 200th win in her North Florida career.

On May 7, the Ospreys faced the No. 1 seed USC Upstate Spartans, who previously swept them during the regular season. The Ospreys fell 13-1 in five innings. USC Upstate struck first in the opening inning with two runs before rallying off eleven more in the second and third. The Ospreys scored their only run of the game in the top of the fifth with Stacy McClelland’s sacrifice fly that sent senior Kelly Wilson home.

North Florida was forced to play an elimination game later that day against the No. 6 seed Stetson Hatters at 5:30 p.m. The Ospreys would suffer a crushing 5-4 loss at the hands of the Hatters.

In a close matchup, both teams fought hard and battled throughout the entire game. In the first inning, both the Ospreys and the Hatters scored two runs apiece. The Hatters gained the lead by a single run in the top of the third inning with Stetson catcher Jessica Griffin’s sacrifice fly ball that sent Jessie Tenbroeck home. UNF’s McClelland hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Ospreys back on top with a 4-3 lead. Stetson answered back in the top of the sixth frame, tying the game. The Ospreys were unable to come up with a game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Stetson’s Tenbroeck doubled to left center in the top of the seventh, sending fellow teammate Kelsey Watters in for the winning run. The Ospreys went three-up-three-down in the bottom of the inning, sealing their fate for this tournament.

Wilson closed her college career at UNF with a place in the school record books. She had 33 stolen bases this season, which is second for the single-season record, just five off from first. The Ospreys ended their season with a 31-28 overall record and 12-9 (.571) in conference play, which is an improvement from last year’s record of 10-16 (.385).

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