April 23, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University softball team fell to 33-30 overall and 11-6 in Atlantic Sun Conference play Saturday night when the Owls were swept 3-2 and 3-1 by Stetson (34-17, 12-6). Freshman Lauren Crandall, continuing her hot hitting of late, led FAU with a 3-for-5 evening.
For the second consecutive day, the Owls found themselves in an early hole in game one. With two outs in the top of the first, Lindsay Wightman drove a double off left field fence that scored Brittani Houghton from first base to give the Hatters a 1-0 lead.
It didn't take long for Stetson, the A-Sun's top hitting team, to double their advantage when they added another run in the second courtesy of a solo home run by Nicole Forbes.
Looking a little flat after Friday's epic battle with Troy, the Owls took four innings to seriously threaten Stetson starter Brittani Houghton's clean sheet. With one on and no out in the fourth, Jessica Braggins reached on a throwing error by Stetson third baseman Melissa Wiggins that also moved Pam Mazzarella to third. Houghton was in no mood to surrender a run, however, and managed to wriggle her way out of the situation by striking out Danielle Arriaga and inducing two 4-3 groundouts.
A Jessica King sacrifice fly in the fifth made it a 3-0 game, and things could have been worse for FAU if Forbes hadn't lined out to third with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Owls finally decided to make a game of things. Back-to-back singles by freshman Lauren Crandall and sophomore Jenna Lopez, and another single by Jessica Sachs loaded the bases with one out. Sophomore Melissa Moore then walked to bring in the first FAU run and a Mazzarella ground out brought the Owls to within one. An intentional walk issued to Jessica Braggins loaded the bases once again, but next batter Arriaga could only weakly ground out to Houghton to end the game.
In game two, FAU took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Braggins that scored Sachs from second base.
Sophomore Ashley Greene, looking for her 12th win of the season, allowed only a lead off bunt single in the first before running into trouble in the third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Stetson's Shawna Wiggs tripled to left-center, driving in both runs to give the Hatters a 2-1 lead.
As they did in game one, where they left nine on base, the Owls struggled in game two to find the crucial hits. After leaving two on in the first, they left one on in the third and sixth innings, two on in the fourth and left the sacks loaded in the fifth to bring their total to 18 on the night.
The Hatters tagged on an insurance run in the top of the seventh to give starter Jennifer Buckley a little more room for error.
The Owls will now have seven days off before Jacksonville comes to town next Sunday for FAU's final A-Sun doubleheader.