April 22, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Senior Jessica Braggins went 4-for-7 with her second grand slam in as many games as the Florida Atlantic University softball team split a doubleheader with Atlantic Sun Conference leaders Troy on Friday night. FAU (33-28, 12-4) pounded the Trojans (40-17, 16-2) 8-3 in game one before losing 3-2 in game two on a sixth-inning home run.
Troy got off to a flying start in game one when an opposite field home run by senior catcher Tamra Howren gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The blast was Howren's 18th of the year and the 11th allowed by FAU starter Meghan Doonan.
Down two runs early and with the conference's leading pitcher on the mound for Troy in the form of sophomore Jocelyn McCallum and her 0.80 ERA, things did not look promising for FAU. But instead of succumbing to the Australian's pinpoint accuracy as many teams have this season, the Owls scored eight unanswered runs on 11 hits to knock McCallum out of the game in the sixth inning.
A single in the third by Mazzarella scored Lopez to open the FAU account and an RBI double to left field by freshman Lauren Crandall one inning later tied things at 2-2. Mazzarella then struck again in the fifth, leading off the inning with a monster home run to straightaway center field to give the Owls a 3-2 lead.
FAU then blew the game open in the sixth with a five-run outburst. Mazzarella knocked in her third run of the game with a one-out, bases-loaded single to center. Next batter Braggins then emptied the bases with her eighth home run of the season.
Doonan, pitching with a sore neck after being involved in a recent minor automobile accident, settled down after the Howren first-inning homer to pick up her 13th win of the season. The sophomore allowed only a third inning single before giving up back-to-back hits in the seventh that resulted in the Trojans' third run.
Game two started in a similar fashion to game one, except this time it was the Owls who took an early lead.
Sophomore right-hander Ashley Greene, pitching with a broken left wrist sustained in Wednesday's 7-1 victory at FIU, struck out the side in the Troy half of the first before third baseman Jessica Sachs led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to center field, her second round-tripper of the year. An RBI single by Danielle Arriaga in the third doubled the FAU lead.
Greene's first tight situation came in the fifth. After allowing two consecutive singles to open the inning, Greene got two outs from her infield before issuing an intentional walk to the dangerous Howren to load the bases. The threat ended quickly though when next batter, Bonnie Belin, tapped a comebacker to Greene on the first pitch of her at-bat.
The next jam Greene (11-7) found herself in wouldn't end as positively as the first and ended up costing FAU the game. With two outs and a runner on in the sixth, Greene walked Brooke Powell and then allowed a three-run homer to shortstop Caurie Miller, the Trojans' ninth hitter. All three runs were unearned.
The Owls showed signs of life In the bottom of the seventh when with one out, Sachs reached on an error and Melissa Moore was hit by a pitch. Mazzarella could only strike out, however, and then Braggins flied out to deep right field to end the game
FAU returns to action tomorrow when they host Stetson in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets for the doubleheader are only $5 for adults and $3 for youths and seniors and are available at the gate or by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS. Live statistics from both games will available via www.fausports.com.
NOTES: Coach Joan Joyce was honored for her 500th career victory in a ceremony held between games...Braggins extended her season-high hit streak to 10 games with her game one grand slam...with the game two victory, Troy clinched at least a share of the A-Sun regular season title.