March 7, 2003
PLANT CITY, FL -- Day two at the University of South Florida Speedline Invitational proved more fruitful for Florida Atlantic University's softball team as the Lady Owls picked up a 2-1 victory over no. 22 Oklahoma State after falling 4-2 to Illinois-Chicago.
Game one saw FAU (10-12) spot UIC a run in the first. The game was evened at 1-1 in the top of the third after junior leftfielder Ginny Matthews reached safely on an error by the Flames' third baseman. Matthews stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. She scored the tying run on a bunt single by catcher Callie Piper.
The Lady Owls returned to the field only to see UIC take a 2-1 lead. FAU then capitalized on errors to score its final run of the game in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. However, UIC added a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to account for the final score.
Freshman hurler Amanda Morin (4-7) took the loss. She allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Candice Freel came on in relief in the fourth with runners on first and second and no outs. In all, Freel allowed one unearned run on one hit in three innings of work while striking out four.
Against Oklahoma State, Freel struck out the side in the top of the first to set the tone for the Lady Owls. In the bottom of the first, with one out, Matthews belted a one-out homer, her first of the season, to left field to put FAU on top, 1-0.
The second inning was almost a duplication of the first for FAU as Freel struck out the first two batters she faced before forcing a groundout to end the inning. In the bottom of the second, Braggins led off with her first homer of the year to give FAU a 2-0 lead.
That would prove to be all the Lady Owls would need as Freel retired the first eight batters she faced. The only run OSU scored was an unearned run in the fourth. Freel (7-3) allowed just four hits and struck out seven. At the plate, FAU managed just two more singles the rest of the way.
Florida Atlantic next faces Michigan State Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm. Bracket play will begin Saturday night.