April 5, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University softball team split a doubleheader with rival FIU on Saturday.
Game One was a pitchers' duel with FAU's Samantha Messer trading shutout innings with FIU's Corinne Jenkins. The Owls (24-18, 7-7 C-USA) had runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth, but Delaney Rickey, pinch running for Laura Mann, was thrown out at home trying to score from second on an FIU error.
FIU (24-15, 6-5) had runners on first and second with just one out in the top of the seventh, but a foulout and fielder's choice ended the threat. In the bottom of the inning, Shelby Knox singled to center before Sarah Howell entered as a pinch runner. Mickey Bell followed with a base hit, and a Panther error allowed Howell to advance to third. That brought Carnesha Thompson to the plate. Thompson successfully executed a squeeze bunt that scored Howell and gave FAU the 1-0 victory. Messer threw her fifth shutout of the season to improve to 12-5 on the year.
In the nightcap, FIU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI double by Shelby Graves. The Panthers added to their lead in the sixth inning on a two-run single by Bre Kaye to stretch the lead to 3-0. FAU responded with a run in the bottom of the inning, when Melissa Martinez doubled in Lindsey Shell to put the Owls on the board, 3-1. After holding the Panthers scoreless in the seventh, Knox walked to lead off the home half of the inning. The next two batters were retired, bringing Whitley Herb to the plate. Herb beat out an infield single, followed by a Christina Martinez single that drove in Knox. That chased FIU starter Graves from the contest, bringing game one starter Jenkins into the circle. She recorded the final out of the game, ending FAU's comeback hopes.
The two rivals will meet in the decisive game of the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Live stats and live video of the game will be available at fausports.com. Fans can also follow the action on the official twitter account of FAU softball, @fauowlssoftball.