Softball: Lady Owls strand runners in doubleheader defeats

SPORTS

The Lady Owls lost both games of their season-opening doubleheader on Feb. 19 at the FAU Softball Stadium in the FAU Kickoff Classic, falling to Kentucky and Maryland by the same score of 2-1.

Playing a large part in the losses for the Lady Owls was runners stranded on base. In the two games combined, the Lady Owls had 11 hits but only produced two runs. The team left runners on in key spots of both games.

In the first game, against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Lady Owls started to figure out pitcher Amber Matousek of the Wildcats by the third inning, getting on base more consistently. The Lady Owls were unable to capitalize, however.

One major moment was in the fifth inning. The Lady Owls had runners on base, but Matousek struck out first baseman Taylor Fawbush. The Wildcats scored their first run at the top of the seventh.

In the bottom half of the inning, with only one out left, shortstop Blair Bodenmiller hit a home run to put the score level.

“Coming into that at-bat I was struggling, and I was looking for a good pitch to hit, and when I hit the ball, I felt good off the bat. I knew it was going out,” said Bodenmiller. “I was just pumped to give my team another chance to win.”

The Owls would surrender another run in the following inning, though, and would not be able to respond, losing 2-1.

“In a game like this where you battle back, you have to capitalize on every chance you get, and we couldn’t do that today,” said head coach Joan Joyce. “We struck out too many times in key spots and couldn’t move runners with bunts, and that’s what cost us.”

In the second game, versus Maryland, FAU seemed to fix leaving runners stranded after going up 1-0 in the top of the second inning, with third baseman Ashlyn Parmerter doubling.

After the run, Terrapins pitcher Kendra Knight settled in and didn’t let the Lady Owls score again, throwing 13 strikeouts in the process.

FAU pitcher Amber Barton got into some difficult positions but was able to get out of the jams unscathed.

“I usually get myself into tight spots, but I normally get out of them,” said Barton. “I just had to focus more on my spin and placement of pitches.”

Her luck changed for the worse in the bottom of the seventh when she threw a wild pitch after giving up a single. The Terps would take advantage of that mistake and tie the game at one, forcing extra innings.

“Once I gave up the run, I was just trying to get out of the inning, feeling very confidently that we could score another run in the top of the eighth,” said Barton.

In the bottom of the eighth, Barton got herself into another jam when she loaded the bases. That was all Maryland needed, as a single gave them a 2-1 walk-off win.

FAU dropped to 0-6 with the result, marking the first time in Joyce’s 19-year tenure with the school that her team has started with that poor of a record.