Feb. 7, 2003
MIAMI, FL --The Florida Atlantic University softball team continued taking on some of the nation's top teams on Friday. In first round action at the FIU Invitational in Miami, FL, the Lady Owls faced no. 22 Alabama and no. 16 Ohio State. FAU (2-5) fell to Alabama, 2-0, before coming from behind to defeat no. 16 Ohio State, 3-2.
Pam Mazzarella led the FAU attack with three hits in five at bats on the day. Ginny Matthews and Jessica Braggins each had two hits while Amy Bellisari had what turned out to be a game-winning two-run single against Ohio State.
In the first game, Alabama scored twice in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Angela Johnson led off with a walk and Jennifer Reach followed with a single to put two on with no outs. After a sacrifice and a line-out, Jackie McClain hit a two-out single to drive in both runs.
Candice Freel (0-1) suffered the loss in her first outing of the year. She allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four while walking four. Mazzarella finished game one going 2-for-2. Matthews, Piper, and Braggins accounted for FAU's remaining hits. Erin Wright (2-1) picked up the win for Alabama. She allowed five hits, all singles, and struck out eight while walking just one.
In the second game, Ohio State struck first with an unearned run in the first inning. The first three batters reached to load the bases with no outs. Rogeanna Hottinger followed with a come-backer that looked as if it would be a double-play. Instead, a high throw to the plate allowed Karisa Evans to score an unearned run. A groundout and a fly out allowed FAU to get out of the inning without any further damage.
FAU tied it in the top of the third with a two-out rally. Jessica Sachs started it with a walk and Matthews followed with an infield single. Mazzarella then singled to right to score Sachs with the tying run.
The Lady Owls scored two more times in the sixth. With one out, Braggins and Gray each singled, and Jennifer Cavanaugh followed with a walk to load the bases. After an infield pop up by Lauren Evans, Bellisari followed with a two-run single to left field to put FAU up 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, with one out and runners on first and second, Jennifer Johnson singled home Meghan Rowlans to pull OSU to within 3-2. That's when Freel came in to relieve starter Amanda Morin. Freel then retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. In the seventh, Freel struck out Billie Jo Carder with a runner on third to end the game.
Morin (2-2) picked up the win. She allowed one earned run and scattered nine hits. She walked two and struck out three in five and one-third innings of work. Freel picked up the second save of her career.
Katie Chain (0-1) suffered the loss. She allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 and two-thirds innings. She walked three and struck out four.
Florida Atlantic continues tournament play Saturday when it takes on host Florida International at 1:30pm.