University of Tennessee-Chattanooga runs over #1 seed FAU Softball team

“Was that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo?” the 1960’s tune’s lyrics probably weren’t going through FAU coach Joan Joyce’s head after losing twice in the NCAA Regional to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, but she was left wondering how her #1 seeded team was steamrolled by the double-elimination tournament’s sixth seed.

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“It wasn’t the way we wanted it to end,” Joyce told the Sun-Sentinel. She remained her usual understated self, even after her best season (62-13) as FAU’s coach ended in what can only be called tremendous disappointment.

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The Lady Owls were no-hit by Lady Mocs’ pitcher Beth Alexander in their first game Thursday, May 16. The loss meant FAU would have to win all their remaining games to win the regional and move onto the College World Series for the first time ever.

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Thursday night FAU freshman pitcher Candice Freel no-hit Alabama through six innings in her 26th win of the season, to begin what the team knew was a tough challenge. Led as usual by Nikki Myers, a finalist for College Player of the Year, and Freel, the A-Sun freshman of the year, FAU beat Auburn 4-2 early Saturday to set up a rematch with Chattanooga later that day.

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But it wasn’t meant to be. Freel gave up six earned runs and nine hits as her team lost 6-1 in their final game of the season.

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The loss also meant Myers, who now leads Florida Atlantic University in almost every major career offensive and pitching statistical category, has played her last game for the school.