March 6, 2003
PLANT CITY, FL -- Florida Atlantic University's women's softball (9-11) team dropped the first two contests at the Speedline Invitational, hosted by the University of South Florida, Thursday morning. Maryland took the first game after eight innings, 5-3 and Chattanooga won the second 9-2.
The first game was a battle of pitchers. FAU's Candice Freel finished regulation holding the Terps scoreless despite five Lady Owl errors. Through seven innings UT-Chattanooga's Monica Cyphert held FAU to just one hit a single to the left side by Lady Owl centerfielder Ebony Gray.
In accordance with the international tie-breaker rule, Maryland's final hitter of regulation play was placed on second base to open the top of the eighth. Samantha Sweeney, the Terps speedy lead-off hitter advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a squeeze play. A base hit and a walk then loaded the bases for pitcher Monica Cyphert to belt a grand slam to right center.
FAU opened the eighth in the same fashion with a runner on second, the Lady Owls drew a walk and scored two on a double to left by Gray. Gray later scored for the game's 5-3 final on a single by Pam Mazzarella.
Freel took the loss to fall to 5-3 on the season, but the game also marked her first plate appearance of the season after suffering a pre-season foot injury.
The second game saw UT-Chattanooga score three runs in the top of the first and never look back. The Mocs, who totaled 17 hits, saw FAU score one in the first and its second in the fourth while earning just five hits.
FAU will next face the University of Illinois-Chicago, 4 pm, Friday and Oklahoma State immediately following, both games are part of the University of South Florida Speedline Invitational and will played at the International Softball Federation Complex in Plant City.