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The Illinois State softball team opened the Bubly Invitational with a pair of losses on Friday in Gainesville, Fla.

The Redbirds dropped their opener, 5-3, to Syracuse before losing to No. 3 nationally ranked Florida, 7-0, in the nightcap. ISU fell to 1-11 with the losses.

Syracuse (3-6) scored three runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and then held on for the win in game one.

Three of ISU's six hits were for extra bases, with Alyssa Wiebel, Brittni LaFountaine and Bloomington High School product Ellie Weltha belting doubles.

Losing pitcher Shannon Felde (1-4) had a pair of singles.

Florida plated three first inning runs off Normal Community grad and ISU starter Mack Leonard in game two before adding four more in the third.

Redbird reliever Morgan Day was able to hold the Gators (13-0) scoreless on three hits over the final 3⅔ innings.

ISU could muster only three hits off a pair of Florida pitchers. Felde was able to extend her hitting streak to seven games with a leadoff single in the fourth inning.

It was Florida's second win of the season over ISU. The two teams will meet once more at 10 a.m. on Saturday before the Redbirds face Florida A&M at 3 p.m.

ISU will close out play in the Bubly Invitational on Sunday.

ILLINOIS WESLEYAN

Women 2nd, Men 4th in CCIW track: After day one of the CCIW Indoor Championships at Naperville, the IWU women have 39 points to trail only host North Central (65). The Titan men have 21 points in fourth. North Central leads with 68.

IWU's lone winner on Friday was Zach Anderson in the weight throw with a toss of 61-4.25.

Highlighting efforts for the Wesleyan women were heptathlon runner-up Jessica Franklin (3,213 points) and long jump runner-up Nia Lee (17-6.25). The Titan women also placed second in the distance medley relay in 12:31.48.

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Reporter

Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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