May 7, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Florida Atlantic University, ranked no. 10 in the nation, split a doubleheader at no. 21 Florida State University Tuesday night in Tallahassee, FL. The Lady Owls dropped game one 3-2 before taking game two 5-0. The games completed the best regular season in team history for FAU (56-10) as they now take aim at their sixth consecutive Atlantic Sun title.
In game one, FAU took a 1-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Candice Freel. Ninya Ybarra led off the frame with a single through the middle and later advanced to second on a one-out sacrifice by Callie Piper. That set up Freel's bloop to short center that scored Ybarra.
The Seminoles came back to score twice in the fourth as both runs came home on a Kimmy Carter single to put FSU (48-15) up 2-1.
The Lady Owls responded immediately in the fifth as Rhianna Rogers led off with a home run to straight-away center field to tie the game at 2-2. The blast for Rogers was her third of the season.
In the seventh, the Seminoles had three straight hits with one out to load the bases. Nikki Myers was then brought in and walked Jessica van der Linden on a 3-2 pitch which gave FSU the 3-2 win.
Freel (24-5) suffered the loss. The freshman allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits. She walked one and struck out one.
Game two started much like game one for FAU as they took a 1-0 lead in the second. Callie Piper led off with a single before Jennifer Piazza reached on a fielder's choice. Rogers singled to put runners on first and second. With two outs, Heather Wright grounded a double down the right field line to score Piazza.
The Lady Owls continued the offensive attack in the fourth with three more runs. Rogers led off with a walk. Two outs later, Ginny Matthews singled to keep the inning alive. Myers was intentionally walked to load the bases for Ybarra. The senior promptly doubled to deep right field to score Michelle Ryan and Matthews. After a pitching change by the Seminoles, Pam Mazzarella dropped a single into left field to score Myers and put FAU on top 4-0.
Ginny Matthews hit a one-out solo homer in the sixth to extend FAU's lead to 5-0. For Matthews, it was her sixth homer of the year. Matthews, Mazzarella, and Piper all went 2-for-4 in game two.
Myers (32-5) picked up her 17th shutout this season. She allowed three hits and struck out 9. She now needs 17 strikeouts to move into third place on the NCAA's career strikeouts list.
Florida Atlantic next faces Jacksonville State in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Thursday in Troy, AL. FAU is the no. 1 seed.