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Panthers Drop Finale Against No. 3/4 Florida
          Release: 04/21/2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (April 21, 2012) - A strong pitching performance by freshman Shelby Graves was not enough as the FIU softball team (24-23) was defeated, 7-1, by No. 3/4 Florida (41-5) on Saturday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The game was tied in the sixth inning before Florida struck six times to take the game.

Graves (0-1) earned the first starting assignment of her young career and held the Gators scoreless until the fifth inning. Her start also marked the first time an FIU freshman started against a top-five opponent since current senior Jenn Gniadek took on a top-ranked Florida squad in 2009.

The Temecula, Calif., native went five innings and allowed two late runs to score, before being charged with one more after her departure in the sixth inning.

The game was scoreless through four innings of play until Florida plated the first run on an RBI double. FIU responded in the next frame when junior Brie Rojas ripped a single over the second baseman's head to score senior Ashley McClain.

Florida then broke out for six runs in the sixth inning to complete the series sweep over the Panthers. Hannah Rogers started for the Gators and tossed all seven innings to improve to 24-3.

FIU will be back in action on the road against South Alabama in a critical Sun Belt Conference series as both teams are vying for the two seed heading into the SBC Tournament in a few weeks. The series starts on Saturday, April 28, with a 2 p.m. EST doubleheader.

About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.

About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit

Shelby Graves got her first-career start on Saturday.
Shelby Graves got her first-career start on Saturday.

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