Softball: Owls bring out brooms in series sweep over Charlotte 49ers
Sweep marks the fourth straight by FAU.
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No. 22 Florida Atlantic softball completed its three game series sweep on the road against the Charlotte 49ers to push the Owls winning streak to 12 games.
FAU (41-7, 16-2 C-USA) junior pitcher Kylee Hanson led the way for the Owls, holding the Charlotte (27-21, 6-11 C-USA) offense to one run during two complete games on the mound. She finished the weekend with 18 strikeouts.
Hanson is not only leading Conference USA in wins this season (22-3) but also in ERA (.68) and batting average against (.136) as well.
Sophomore first baseman Tatum Buckley and reigning Conference USA player of the week senior third baseman Carnesha Thompson led the way offensively for FAU, as the two combined to go 8-for-19 over the weekend including back-to-back home runs in game one.
FAU returns to Boca Raton next weekend to take on Western Kentucky University in a three game series that starts on Saturday, April 30, with a doubleheader starting at 4 P.M.
Here’s a recap of each game:
Game One: FAU 3, Charlotte 1 (8)
In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, FAU’s scoring started in the fourth inning when Buckley singled on a bunt, allowing sophomore shortstop Emily Lochten to cross home plate for Buckley’s first RBI of the night.
Hanson came out aggressively in her 21st win of the season, striking out four of the first six batters she faced. She pitched a complete game finishing with eight strikeouts, conceding one unearned run on four hits.
Following a fifth inning in which Charlotte answered back with a run of its own to tie the game, the Owls responded in the eighth inning by knocking two home runs over the left field wall from Buckley and Thompson. The home runs proved to be the eventual difference in FAU’s 39th win of the season, its fifth in extra innings.
Buckley hit 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run.
Thompson finished 2-for-4, including her go-ahead home run in the eighth.
Game Two: FAU 7, Charlotte 5
In game two of the three game series, FAU missed an opportunity in the first inning, leaving three players on base.
In her 16th start of the season, Wilson struggled early allowing three Charlotte runs on four hits in the game’s opening two innings. Florida Atlantic head coach Joan Joyce stuck with her junior pitcher as Wilson proceeded to pitch a complete game, holding the 49ers to one hit prior to the seventh inning in her 12th win of the season.
Similar to game one, FAU’s offense got started in the fourth inning, trailing the 49ers 3-0, when senior catcher Mickey Bell doubled down the foul ball line to bring in freshman infielder Samantha Lageyre.
The run by Lageyre was followed by a single down the right field line from senior outfielder Kiley Southall’s that brought the Owls within one run.
FAU then tied the game in the fifth inning, when a 49er error allowed senior second baseman Melissa Martinez to score.
In a sixth inning with two outs and the bases loaded, Lochten hit a grand slam over the left field wall that put FAU up.
The Owls held off a 49er rally in the bottom of the seventh to win their 40th game of the season.
Lochten’s grand slam was her 12th home run of the season, putting the sophomore in a four-way tie for first place in the Conference USA home run race.
Game Three: FAU 6, Charlotte 0
In the final matchup of the weekend, Hanson’s arm proved to be too much for the 49ers in her second complete game of the series. Hanson was unblemished in game three, as the Owls shut out Charlotte 6-0.
Hanson finished with 10 strikeouts on her way to earning a 22-3 record on the mound this season.
FAU’s scoring in game three opened in the second inning on a single down the left field line from Buckley which brought in Melissa Martinez for the first run of the game.
The Owls offense got a boost behind 2-of-3 hitting from sophomore catcher Alex Miller as well as 2-of-4 hitting, including two RBIs from freshman left fielder Madisyn Palmer.
Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer with the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @ChrisIsAirborne.