Feb. 12, 2012
CLERMONT, FL - Day two of the NTC Elite Invitational echoed the first day of the 2012 softball season for the Florida Atlantic Owls in more ways than one.
In the opener on Saturday against Florida A&M, as it was Friday evening against North Carolina, the Owls fell behind 5-0 early. It was again too big of a deficit to make up on day two, in what became a 6-3 loss to the Lady Rattlers.
Later in the night, it was the Owls who struck first against Bethune-Cookman, just as they did against Ohio State all the way back in the first game of the Invitational. Against B-CU, it was a 4-0 bottom of the 1st (against OSU, it was a 3-run top of the 1st). The second matchup became more of a back-and-forth affair on Saturday.
Against FAMU, for the second time in as many days, first baseman Stephanie Call went deep and out of the park, to make it a 5-1 game in the 4th. The other two Owls' runs came in the 5th inning, paced by the bottom portion of the lineup. Joshlyn Martinez led off with a double and was singled to third on a single by Alison Milam. Martinez scored when Milam successfully stole second base, and Milam ended up coming in to score herself when pinch-runner Sarah Howell intentionally got herself into a rundown to make it a 6-3 game.
Despite baserunners in each of the last two innings, that was as close as FAU would get in Saturday's first game.
Even though a lengthy delay pushed back the Owls' second game to a chilly evening start, the FAU bats came out red-hot in the 1st against Bethune-Cookman. With one out, Carly Speerin doubled. Heather Barnes followed with an infield hit, and Call walked to load the bases. Taylor Fawbush plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to leftfield, and Jordan Stovall followed with an RBI single scoring Barnes. Sophomore Kimberly Diaz ended the scoring in the 1st with a 2-out, 2-run single, giving FAU a 4-0 lead.
But that all fell apart in the top of the 2nd inning when B-CU sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on five hits. The big blast of the inning came from third baseman Kelsey Rodney, a grand slam off the top of the left-center field fence. Rodney followed that up with a 2-out, 2-run double in the ensuing inning, giving the Wildcats a 9-4 lead.
The Owls chipped away to take the lead momentarily, scoring three runs each in both the 4th and the 5th innings. Fawbush grounded in a run, Stovall added another RBI with a double and Alexa Ballard had her third of three singles to knock in a run, in the 4th. In the 5th, Call singled in a run, Stovall had another sacrifice fly and Diaz got her third RBI of the night to give FAU a 10-9 lead.
The lead was short-lived, as two errors led to the unearned tying B-CU run in the 6th, with the Wildcats pushing ahead with two more runs in the 7th, dropping the Owls to 0-4 on the weekend.
Things wrap up for FAU Sunday when they have their fifth and final game in the Invitational against Chattanooga. First pitch is scheduled for noon.