April 11, 2002
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Florida Atlantic University, ranked no. 11 in the nation, extended its winning streak to eight games with a doubleheader sweep of Samford University Thursday in Birmingham, AL. FAU won game one 7-0 before taking game two 4-0. FAU, which entered the week leading the nation in victories, improved to 46-7 on the year and 9-1 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Candice Freel and Nikki Myers each tossed shutouts while the Lady Owls banged out 18 hits and five home runs. Freel threw a three-hitter while Myers turned in a one-hitter to go along with 14 strikeouts.
In game one, FAU took a 1-0 lead in the third when Pam Mazzarella delivered a two-out single that scored Heather Wright. Samford (17-23, 2-8 A-Sun) failed to score in the bottom of the inning despite loading the bases with one out. Candice Freel forced Michelle Wright to ground into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
The Lady Owls opened it up with four runs in the fourth. With one out, Michelle Shirah hit a 3-1 pitch that skimmed over the left field fence for her first homer of the year that gave FAU a 2-0 lead. Two outs later, Wright singled home Ninya Ybarra to make it 3-0. Nikki Myers then stepped up and hit the first pitch she saw over the centerfield fence to give FAU a 5-0 lead. For Myers, it was her team-leading 10th homer of the year. FAU added two more runs in the sixth on a single by Ybarra and a sacrifice by Myers.
Freel picked up her 20th win of the season against just three losses. The three-hit shutout was the ninth of the year for the freshman. Samford's Erin Landsburg (8-14) suffered the loss.
In game two, the Lady Owls used more muscle to score three times in the second. Mazzarella led off with her third home run of the year. Following a single by Callie Piper, a fielder's choice, and a pop-up, Jennifer Piazza hit a two-out, two-run homer to left to give FAU a 3-0 lead. For Piazza, it was her first homer this year. In the fifth, Ybarra, who finished 5-of-7 on the day, led off with her ninth homer of the season to put FAU on top 4-0.
Meanwhile, Myers (26-4) completely dominated the game, taking a perfect game into the seventh before a lead-off single by Amber Fuller. The shutout was the 41st in Myers career and her 13th this season.
Fuller (9-9) suffered the loss for Samford in game two.
Florida Atlantic continues its road trip with a doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Jacksonville State.