Feb. 5, 2005
CLEARWATER - Losses to Florida and Appalachian State on Saturday at the Clearwater Invitational dropped the Florida Atlantic University softball team to 0-6 on the season. The Owls lost 3-0 to the Gators in their afternoon contest and 3-2 to the Mountaineers in the tournament's final game of the evening.
In the day's opener for the Owls, the first four innings against the Gators were highly uneventful as only one runner made it to first base for either team. That runner was Shelly Stevens, who was doubled up in the second when shortstop Jenna Lopez caught a short flare before flipping the ball to freshman Melissa Moore for the double play.
Earlier, in the first inning, Moore let a grounder from the first batter of the day go through her legs before making an outstanding diving catch on a line drive by Melissa Zick.
FAU was first to threaten when in the fifth, Pam Mazzarella reached on an error by the Gator second baseman. Marlene Lopez, pinch-running for Mazzarella reached second on a wild pitch and then got to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Braggins with two strikes. Lopez was left at third though after Jenn Piazza and Lauren Crandall could only ground out.
The bottom of the sixth saw the deadlock finally broken as the Gators scored three times off Owls starter Meghan Doonan, who was having a stellar afternoon up to that point.
With no outs, Norfleet singled to right despite a valiant effort from Jessica Braggins. Stevens followed and looked to be out by a half-step on a sacrifice bunt, but was called safe. Melissa Zick then stepped up and knocked both Norfleet and Stevens in with a single up the middle before scoring herself two batters later on an RBI double by Lindsey Cameron.
Gators starter Mandy Schuerman, who allowed only one hit on the day, finished off the Owls 1-2-3 in the seventh to pick up her second win of the season.
In the nightcap, the Mountaineers opened things with a run in the top of the first off FAU starter Ashley Greene. Nat Willis walked to lead off the inning and scored three batters later when Diana Cook singled to right. Greene continued to struggle in the second, giving up back-to-back singles, and was consequently pulled for Freel.
The Owls tied things up in the bottom of the second when Jennifer Cavanaugh tripled and then scored on a throwing error by the Appy State second baseman. The third inning brought the Owls their first RBI and second lead of the season.
Freel, meanwhile, was cruising until the sixth. The senior right-hander allowed a lead-off triple to Lin Glover who later scored on Sarah Gough's single, tying the game at 2-2. The Mountaineers then took the lead for good when Glover was knocked in by Keri Blackwelder's double that just cleared a leaping Cavanaugh in right.
FAU will take on conference foe, and the only other winless team in the tournament, Gardner-Webb in Sunday's `Nickel Medal' game at 11 a.m.
NOTES: Coach Joan Joyce sported an ice bag on her right temple during the UF game after being hit accidentally by a swung bat during warm-ups...shortstop Danielle Arriaga returned to the lineup against UF after twisting her ankle in Friday's opener against Oklahoma.