Feb. 6, 2005
CLEARWATER - The Florida Atlantic University softball team continued its winless start to the 2005 season with a 7-6 loss to conference rival Gardner-Webb on Sunday in the Clearwater Invitational. The Owls finished the tournament 0-5 and are now 0-7 on the year. Danielle Arriaga (2 RBI) and Jenn Piazza (3-for-4) led the way for the Owls in the loss.
The Bulldogs struck first, scoring twice in the bottom of the opening inning. Back-to-back doubles off FAU starter Meghan Doonan produced the first run and a single by Lindsey Cooper drove in the second.
FAU responded immediately in the top of the second with three runs of its own. Jenn Piazza led off with a single and was joined on base by Lauren Crandall, who reached via a fielder's choice. A sacrifice bunt by Melissa Moore moved the runners over, and after a ground out by Courtney Raney, Jenna Lopez drove Piazza in with a single roped down the right field line. Crandall crossed the plate next on a wild pitch and Lopez followed on when the Bulldog catcher threw the ball into left field on a pickoff attempt.
Gardner-Webb tied things up in the third thanks to a Kelly Linsley RBI single and then took a 6-3 lead in the same inning when Christie Barlow smacked a three-run homer to left center.
The run barrage continued into the fourth as the Owls evened the game at 6-6. Lopez walked to lead things off, but consecutive groundouts quickly put FAU in a two-out hole. Pam Mazzarella walked and then scored along with Lopez on a double by Danielle Arriaga, who later scored the game-tying run on a Crandall single.
Tara Grady replaced Doonan on the mound in the fourth and the Bulldogs replied by grabbing their third, and final lead of the game when Rachael Riopel drove in Abbie Looper, who had reached on a Lopez error.
FAU threatened in the sixth and seventh but instead just added to their total of 12 runners left on by leaving two Owls stranded in each inning.
The Owls open their home schedule this Friday when they host the Worth Invitational. Other teams joining the Owls will be Bethune-Cookman, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern. Check www.fausports.com for the Owls' complete schedule.
NOTES: Jenna Lopez led the Owls in the tournament with a .417 average and has a current four-game hit streak...Crandall (.333) and Arriaga (.300) also had solid weekends.
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