Candice Freel threw her fifth shutout of the season.
March 7, 2004
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University needed just two runs as it picked up two wins on the first day of action at the FAU "Worth" Invitational. The Owls defeated Massachusetts 1-0, before duplicating the same score, in eight innings, against North Carolina. The wins improve FAU to 19-9 on the year as the Owls were the only team to go undefeated on day one of the tournament.
Against UMass, Pam Mazzarella drove in the only run with a two-out single in the bottom of the third.
Meanwhile, the Minutewomen struggled against Amanda Morin, managing just four hits. Their biggest threat came in the top of the seventh when they had runners at second and third with two outs. Morin, however, struck out Kristi Stefanoni for the game's final out.
Morin (10-3) picked up her third shutout of the season. She struck out seven and did not allow a walk.
In a game that featured even more of a pitchers' duel, FAU and UNC went scoreless into the eighth inning. Utilizing the International Tiebreaker, the Tarheels were unable to score in the top of the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Jenna Lopez was placed on second and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Jessica Sachs. The Owls then put on the squeeze play as Callie Piper bunted in front of the plate, allowing Lopez to beat a shovel-throw from the pitcher for the winning run.
Candice Freel (7-6) pitched a gem for FAU. She allowed just three singles while striking out 11. The shutout was her fifth of the season and lowered her team-leading ERA to 1.16.
UNC's biggest threat came in the sixth when it placed runners on the corners with no outs. The first out came from a runner leaving early at first base. Freel then struck out consecutive batters to get out of the jam.
The two teams combined for just five hits as FAU finished with two.
In other action on Saturday, Florida International defeated Notre Dame, 2-1. UMass defeated Notre Dame, 4-2, while North Carolina defeated FIU, 2-1.
Florida Atlantic concludes the tournament Sunday with a 5:00pm match-up with Notre Dame.