April 5, 2002
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University, ranked no. 11 in the nation, put together a pair of no-hitters in sweeping Mercer University in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader Friday night in Boca Raton, FL. It's the first time in school history the Lady Owls have had back-to-back no-hitters in the same doubleheader. Freshman Candice Freel tossed her first collegiate no hitter in an 8-0 win in game one before Nikki Myers threw her ninth career no-hitter in an 8-0 game two victory. Myers also connected for her 50th career homer in the nightcap.
In the first game, FAU (42-7, 5-1 A-Sun) scored four unearned runs in the first inning courtesy of two Mercer errors. The Lady Owls took a 1-0 lead when Pam Mazzarella reached safely on a suicide play. Ginny Matthews added a one-out RBI-groundout to put FAU up 2-0. The next batter, Candice Freel, doubled down the left field line to drive in two more runs as FAU led 4-0 at that point. In all, nine Lady Owls batted in the first.
FAU put the game away in the fourth when Heather Wright hit a one-out grand slam to put the Lady Owls on top 8-0. For Wright, it was her third homer of the season.
Meanwhile, Freel cruised through the Mercer lineup, retiring 15 of the 16 batters she faced. The only blemish was an error in the third inning. Freel struck out five to improve to 18-3 on the year.
Game two was much of the same as the Lady Owls scored twice in the first inning and four times in the second. In the first, Matthews had an RBI-single to put FAU up 1-0. Wright added a two-run double in the second to make it 4-0.. That was followed by a two-run homer by Myers, her eighth of the season and the 50th of her career. That gave the Lady Owls a commanding 6-0 advantage. Myers preserved the no-hitter by ending the game on a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fifth that put FAU on top 8-0, thereby ending the game via softball's eight-run rule.
Myers struck out eight and walked one. Like Freel, she faced just one batter over the minimum, retiring the last 13 hitters she faced.
FAU outhit Mercer 21-0 in the two five-inning games. Myers, Wright, and Jessica Fernandez each collected three hits. Wright led the FAU attack with six RBIs while Myers added three. Mercer dropped to 18-22 on the year and 1-3 in the A-Sun.
Florida Atlantic next faces Troy State in an A-Sun doubleheader Sunday at 1:00pm.
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