March 26, 2006
BOCA RATON, FL - Strong pitching and timely hitting carried the Florida Atlantic University softball team to a sweep of Gardner-Webb 4-0 and 2-1 in Atlantic Sun Conference play at FAU Softball Stadium on Sunday.
Junior Shauna Corso (Seal Beach, Calif.) hit her first career home run for the Owls in the bottom of the first inning to give freshman pitcher Kathryn Stauffer (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) all of the run support she would need. Stauffer threw her second shutout of the weekend, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out five in moving to 6-11 on the year and 2-0 in conference games.
Florida Atlantic added insurance runs in the sixth, when senior Jessica Sachs (Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.) led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a single off the bat of freshman Amy Bukovich (Boca Raton, Fla.). One out later, senior Danielle Arriaga (Miami, Fla.) walked, leading to two RBIs for junior Mandie Fishback (Banks, Ore.) when she tripled to right center.
Just two runners reached second base against Stauffer, who faced 23 batters - two above the minimum - for the second consecutive game. She ended the weekend with 13 strikeouts and no walks while allowing four hits in 14 innings.
Florida Atlantic 2, Gardner-Webb 1
The headline of the second game was the return of junior Meghan Doonan (Wallingford, Conn.) to the circle. Doonan, throwing in her first game of the year after suffering an injury in the preseason, did not surrender a run until a suicide squeeze with one out in the seventh plated Gardner-Webb's lone run.
Doonan (1-0) gave up three hits and walked one while striking out seven in the game. She was scheduled to be the Owls' no. 1 pitcher coming into the season.
GWU's run set up a dramatic bottom of the seventh for FAU. Sophomore Melissa Moore (Miami, Fla.) opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by classmate Charlotte Baird (Hendersonville, Tenn.).
After a flyout to center and back-to-back walks, including the second intentional walk of the game to Corso, Arriaga delivered the game-winning bloop single into centerfield to plate pinch runner Kala Guy (Hollywood, Fla.) with the winning run.
Corso scored Florida Atlantic's previous run during the fourth inning, leading off with a double and moving to third on a single by Arriaga. Corso then came home when a throw induced by an Arriaga steal went into centerfield.
Corso finished the day three-for-five with two runs and one RBI. Sachs also had three hits on the day.
The Owls (15-18, 3-1 A-Sun) return to action on Saturday, Apr. 1, hosting Kennesaw State in an A-Sun doubleheader at 6:00 p.m.