CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Florida Atlantic University softball team came up just shy in its quest for a Conference USA tournament title, losing to Middle Tennessee 7-6 in the championship game on Saturday.
Middle Tennessee scored in the top of the first when Alex Miller was called for obstruction on a Blue Raider double steal. FAU answered in the bottom of the inning when Emily Lochten walked, stole second, moved to third on a Madisyn Palmer grounder, then scored on a Samantha Lageyre base hit to tie the game 1-1. MT scored six runs in the top of the fifth, four coming on a grand slam homerun, to take a 7-1 lead. The Owls began chipping away in the bottom of the fifth, when Miller singled and Lochten homered to trim the lead to 7-3. RBI base hits by Jolie Duffner, Miller and Palmer whittled the margin down to a single run in the bottom of the sixth. The Owls still had the bases loaded, but a flyout ended the frame. Tatum Buckley led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center, but the next three batters were retired to end the game.
- Lochten went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored. She ends her FAU career first in school history in runs (221), on-base percentage (.495), doubles (55) and stolen bases (129)
- Madisyn Palmer and Samantha Lageyre both singled and drove in a run.
- Jolie Duffner singled, had an RBI and scored a run.
- Lauren Whitt had two hits in the contest.
- Lageyre, Lochten, Buckley and Mia Olson were all named to the all-tournament team.
The Owls are expected to return five regular starters for the 2019 season.