March 22, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University softball team split a doubleheader with Southern Miss on Saturday night, losing the first game 2-0, before winning the nightcap 4-3.
Game one was a pitchers' duel between FAU's Samantha Messer and USM's Shelbee Roberts. Both pitchers allowed only three hits in the game. The Owls' (21-15, 4-4 C-USA) best chance to score came in the fourth inning, when they had runners on second and third with just one out, but a fielder's choice and a lineout ended the inning with FAU still scoreless.
USM (14-15, 5-3) took advantage of their opportunity to score in the top of the fifth. The first two batters of the inning walked and were hit by a pitch, respectively. A Golden Eagle sacrifice moved them up, and a groundout and single allowed USM to score the only runs of the game.
Messer threw her eighth complete game of the year, but dropped to 10-4. FAU fell behind early in the second game. USM had the bases loaded with one out in the second inning, but an infield single drove in the only run of the frame, as Kylee Hanson pitched her way out of trouble.
The Owls cracked the scoreboard in the fourth, when Laura Mann doubled in Lindsey Shell and Melissa Martinez scored on a Jordan Stovall sacrifice fly to give FAU a 2-1 lead. Hanson gave up three straight hits to start the sixth inning, allowing USM to tie the score at 2. With runners on second and third and no outs, Amanda Wilson relieved Hanson and immediately induced a grounder, followed by a double play to preserve the tie.
Shell reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the sixth, followed by a Melissa Martinez infield single. Martinez advanced to second, bringing Mann to the plate. Mann chopped a single down the left field line, allowing both Shell and Martinez to score.
A hit by pitch, a throwing error and a walk put runners on the corners with no one out for the Golden Eagles. After an RBI grounder, Wilson was able to strike out the final two batters to end the game.
Mann went 3-for-3 in her first start since suffering an injury and Wilson threw two innings of no-hit relief for her sixth win of the year.
The two teams will meet for a decisive third game on Sunday. Game time is 1 p.m. Live stats and live video will be available on fausports.com. Fans can also follow the action at twitter.com/fauowlssoftball.