May. 1, 2005
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Junior Danielle Arriaga went 4-for-5 with two RBI and junior Jessica Sachs and freshman Lauren Crandall each hit home runs as the Florida Atlantic University softball team completed conference play with a doubleheader sweep of the Jacksonville Dolphins on Sunday evening. With the 3-2 and 5-2 victories, the Owls (35-30, 14-6) are now guaranteed to be either a two or three seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament that FAU will host on May 12-14.
Sachs got the Owls off to a superb start in the first inning of game one by blasting a lead-off home run to left, her fourth round-tripper of the year.
FAU doubled its lead in the second when Sachs struck again, this time driving in Charlotte Baird from second after the freshman had smacked her second collegiate double. Sachs finished the night 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Owl starter, sophomore Meghan Doonan, allowed only one hit in the first four innings but then ran into trouble in the fifth when her defense failed her at the worst possible moment.
With two out and one on, Jillian Mirante struck out but reached first when the ball got away from Baird. Doonan then walked Ashley Houston, but appeared to have got out of the inning when next batter Stephanie Farabee lifted a fly ball to right-center field. Crandall looked to have a beat on the ball as she ran in from right field but the ball bounced off her glove and to the ground, allowing two Dolphin runs to score.
Neither team managed another hit until the bottom of the seventh as things remained tied. Jenna Lopez doubled to lead off the half-inning, bringing Baird to the plate. The Tennessee native laid a good bunt down to move Lopez to third before watching in glee as Houston, covering first base on the play, dropped the throw, allowing Lopez to score the game-winning run.
Game two saw the Owls take another early lead, this time in the second inning. With one on and one out, Crandall roped a ball off Dolphins starter Shannon Jensen that just sneaked over the left field wall for her second homer of the season.
As in game one, the Dolphins tied things up at 2-2 with two unearned runs. A poor fielding play by Mazzarella and a booted grounder by Sachs contributed to the comeback in the third inning.
The game would not be tied for long, however, as Arriaga drove in her first run of the evening with an RBI single up the middle that scored Melissa Moore in the bottom of the third, giving the Owls a 3-2 lead.
FAU tacked on two more runs in the fifth on another Arriaga RBI single and a sacrifice fly by senior Jenn Piazza. Sophomore Ashley Greene pitched unspectacularly but effectively to pick up her 12th win of the season, striking out four in a complete-game effort.
The Owls will close out their regular season schedule on Wednesday when they host Florida International in a single contest at 6 p.m. The four seniors on the FAU squad will be honored with a pre-game ceremony. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and youths and are available at the gate or by calling 1-866-FAU-OWLS.
NOTES: Sophomore Lauren Greco hit a first-pitch single in her first at-bat of the season, a pinch-hit appearance in the sixth inning, drawing cheers from her teammates in the dugout.