May 15, 2003
GAINESVILLE, FL -- It took 11 innings and terrific pitching by Amanda Morin along with a season-saving defensive play by Ginny Matthews for Florida Atlantic University to stay alive at the NCAA Regional in Gainesville, FL, Thursday night. The Lady Owls defeated Bethune-Cookman College, 2-1 in 11 innings, to advance to Friday's action. Morin allowed one run on eight hits and struck out a season-high 12 and won her 14th consecutive game. The loss eliminated the Wildcats from the double-elimination tournament.
FAU (43-27) took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning before BCC (47-21) tied it with two outs. With the game still tied in the bottom of the 10th, the Wildcats put runners on second and third with one out. That's when Morin went to work. She struck out Meghan McGuire for the second out. Then, Lamia Scott hit a blooper into short centerfield which looked as if it would drop. Instead, Matthews raced in and made a basket catch just inches before the ball would have fallen for a hit.
"That was a heck of a play," said FAU head coach Joan Joyce. "If she doesn't catch that ball, we don't win this game. It saved our season."
In the top of the 11th, Michelle Shirah led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Jessica Sachs. Shirah scored when Matthews grounded to third to make it 2-1.
Amy Bellisari started the FAU scoring with a one-out homer in the third. She was the first FAU batter to reach after BCC's Katie Flinn retired the first seven batters she faced. It looked like that would be all the Lady Owls would need as Morin cruised into the seventh inning with the 1-0 lead. After retiring the first two hitters, Tialia Tagaloa hit a line drive over the left field fence to the tie the game at 1-1.
FAU had chances to add to its one-run lead. In the fourth, Matthews and Jenn Piazza each singled to give the Lady Owls runners at first and second with one out. With two outs, Ebony Gray singled and Matthews was thrown out at home plate for the third out. In the fifth, Callie Piper led off with a single but the Lady Owls were unable to advance pinch-runner Jaime Melton.
Meanwhile, Morin totally dominated the Wildcats until the seventh. Up until that point, she scattered just three singles, all with two outs, while striking out six with no walks. Morin has now gone 14-0 since March 22.
"What an unbelievable effort by Amanda," said Joyce. "Her only mistake was the one pitch in the seventh."
Florida Atlantic will next play Friday at 5:30pm against the loser of the Florida/Texas-Arlington game that takes place at 2:30pm. In other action, Oklahoma defeated BCC 5-1. Florida defeated Oregon State 3-2 and Texas-Arlington defeated Florida State 1-0.
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