Feb. 19, 2005
BOCA RATON - A 6-4 extra-innings victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday earned the Florida Atlantic University softball teama berth in Sunday's championship game of the FAU Classic against No. 8 Michigan. The Owls fell 12-3 to the Wolverines in the day's meaningless nightcap and so will look for revenge in the title tilt scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Owls (4-12) picked up the clinching win against the Panthers, despite blowing a 4-0 lead. Three FAU runs came in the third inning via a Christina Thompson RBI ground out, an RBI double by Danielle Arriaga, and a Pam Mazzarella RBI single. The lead was then extended in the fourth when Jenn Piazza scored on a passed ball.
The Panthers, who still had a legitimate shot at making the championship game with a win, tied things up with four runs in the bottom of the fifth off FAU starter Meghan Doonan. No-one could break the tie in regulation, so extra innings was necessary.
FAU had a good shot to take a lead in the top of the ninth, but reliever Ashley Greene was left stranded on third base. The Owls did not make the same mistake in the ninth, taking a 6-4 lead when Jenna Lopez scored on a wild pitch and Jessica Sachs did the same on a Mazzarella RBI double.
Pitt threatened to make thing interesting in the bottom of the inning with runners at second and third and one out. Thompson came home on a ground ball to get the second out before Candice Freel, on in relief of Doonan, struck out Francesca DiMaria to end the game.
With the championship game already set, the day's final contest between the Owls and Michigan was rendered meaningless. The Wolverines easily won the game 12-3 in six innings as eight different players had an RBI. Jessica Braggins and Sachs both hit their first home runs of the season for FAU in the loss.
Leading the Owls on the day was Mazzarella with a 3-for-6, two RBI performance, while Sachs was also 3-for-6 and scored three times. After the first four games of the tournament for FAU, Sachs is 6-for-13 with five RBI and eight runs scored.
Tickets for Sunday's action are only $10 for adults and $7 for children and will be available at the gate. The 9 a.m. game will feature Rutgers and NC State, while the 1 p.m. game is between Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
NC State 3, Rutgers 0
Ohio State 2, NC State 0
Ohio State 8, Pittsburgh 7
Michigan 8, Rutgers 0 (5 inn.)
Florida Atlantic 6, Pittsburgh 4 (9 inn.)
Michigan 12, Florida Atlantic 3
Final Round-Robin Standings
Florida Atlantic 3-1
Ohio State 3-1
NC State 1-3