May 9, 2002
TROY, AL - Florida Atlantic University defeated Jacksonville State 3-1 Thursday morning in the opening game of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament in Troy, AL. A single by Rhianna Rogers in the bottom of the sixth scored the go-ahead run as FAU seeks its sixth consecutive A-Sun Tournament title in the double-elimination tournament.
Candice Freel put FAU up 1-0 in the second on a two-out run-scoring single that scored Pam Mazzarella. JSU battles back to tie the game in the fourth. The Gamecocks could have had more, but Freel struck out Rachel Countryman with the bases loaded to retire the side.
With the score tied 1-1 in the sixth, JSU's Andrea Tomey led off with a double. That brought Nikki Myers into the game, who struck out Jessica Ford before Breezy Oleman flied into a double play to end the threat.
That set up FAU's two-run sixth as Ninya Ybarra led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Mazzarella. Callie Piper then walked and was replaced by Jennifer Piazza at first. Rogers followed with a single to right that scored Ybarra. Piazza also came home on the play after the JSU catcher misplayed the throw home.
Myers breezed through the seventh, retiring the side in order. She improved to 33-5 on the year while retiring all five batters she faced. She had three strikeouts, bringing her to 1,330 for her career. Myers needs 14 strikeouts to move into third place all time in NCAA history for strikeouts. The win kept Myers a perfect 8-0 in A-Sun Tournament action.
Freel went five innings, allowing one run on six hits. She struck out four and walked one.
The win for FAU was its 21st straight in A-Sun Tournament play going back to the 1997 season. FAU next faces the loser of the Central Florida-Stetson game at 6:00 pm EST Thursday afternoon.
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