All Things Osprey: Softball sweeps Big Ten power

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

This past week was a successful one for the Ospreys, as softball and men’s basketball both picked up big-time wins.

Homecoming week always brings about exciting events, which was no different this year. The University of North Florida’s athletic teams stepped up to the occasion, coming through with some thrilling victories.

The softball squad made headlines when they faced the Michigan State Spartans out of the Big Ten Conference. The Sunday doubleheader would likely a challenge, but the Ospreys were ready for every punch that came their way. 

The Spartans pounced early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Things looked grim, but the Ospreys settled in under the lead of pitcher Halle Arends. UNF inched back into contention with a trio of runs in the third inning, tying the game.

Wins don’t always come on dramatic walk-off home runs. This was the case in the first game, as a sacrifice bunt by Hayley Bejarano in the sixth inning proved to be the winning run. The Ospreys came out on top 4-3, but could they do it again?

They did exactly this, picking up another 4-3 win. It was almost a mirror image as Michigan State took an early lead once again. Halle Arends had a full day of work, making another appearance in the doubleheader. The duel went into extra innings, but Kayla McGory scored the winning run on a Paige Pfent single to complete the sweep. 

It was also an eventful week for men’s basketball, who picked up crucial wins against Liberty on Tuesday and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. Tuesday’s win was a come-from-behind effort, while Saturday’s was the exact opposite.

UNF guard Jarius Hicklen went off on Tuesday, dropping 31 points in the win.
UNF guard Jarius Hicklen went off on Tuesday, dropping 31 points in the win. (Riley Platt)

The Ospreys played an excellent first half against FGCU, but things didn’t stay this way. The three-ball attack disappeared, and the Eagles closed things back up. In a tense final few minutes of the game, the Osprey faithful brought the noise as UNF closed it out for a 70-64 win.

These wins have put the Ospreys in position to potentially get a home game for the ASUN tournament. With wins at Jacksonville and Stetson this upcoming week, this might just become a reality.

Lastly, the 2022 baseball season kicked off on Friday with a series against Presbyterian College. The Blue Hose of Presbyterian took the series two games to one, with UNF’s only win coming on Saturday. This week, the schedule ramps up with matchups against UCF and Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. 

That’s all for this week’s All Things Osprey. Make sure to stay tuned for next week’s edition!


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