FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Paige Pfent's third inning grand slam secured a 5-2 win for No. 6 North Florida to eliminate fourth-seeded North Alabama in the ASUN Conference Softball Championship Friday afternoon at the FGCU Softball Complex.
Trailing 2-1 in the third inning, North Florida loaded the bases on an error, hit-by-pitch and walk before Pfent belted her grand slam over the left field wall to give the Ospreys the lead. UNF went up early with a run in the first inning on a base hit by Tiffany Lower, which scored Navia Penrod. Penrod opened the game with a single to left field and ended the contest with a pair of hits to move her career total to 278 which ranks fourth all-time in the ASUN career record book.
After falling behind 1-0, North Alabama took the lead 2-1 with three straight singles in the second inning. Danielle de Ruiter got both RBIs on her single to left field. The Lions loaded the bases in the sixth inning but was unable to scratch across a run.
North Alabama attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh as Meleah Hargett doubled to begin the frame. After a strikeout by Sydney Matzko, Lexie Harper recorded an infield single to put runners on first and second. North Florida turned the 5-6-3 double play to end the threat and win the ballgame.
Morgan Blourne (9-6) picked up the win in relief for the Ospreys while Sydney Matzko (3) was credited with the save. Laken Distefano (4-3) suffered the loss for the Lions.
North Florida (28-23) survives and will face No. 3 FGCU later today at 4:30 PM ET. North Alabama concludes its season with a 26-20 overall record.
No. 4 North Alabama vs. No. 6 North Florida Game Notes
- This marked the first time North Alabama and North Florida faced off in the ASUN Softball Championship.
- UNF is set to battle No. 3 FGCU in a rematch of Game 1 of the Championship which the Ospreys dropped 3-2.
- The Ospreys improve to 3-1 on the year against the Lions after taking the season series in Florence.
- For the first time since 2015, the No. 6 seed has won two games in the Championship.
- UNF's Navia Penrod now has 278 career hits which ranks fourth all-time in the ASUN career record book.
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