Softball: Owls win four of five in Las Vegas Tournament

Lone loss was against No. 7 ranked Oregon Ducks


Sophomore Delaney Rickey is tagged out at second base during the Owls’ 4-2 win over Penn State on Feb. 14. Ryan Lynch | Multimedia Editor

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic softball traveled to Las Vegas over the weekend to take part in the Alexis Park Resort Classic, where it won four out of its five games and improve to 17-2 on the season.

Its lone loss of the weekend was to the No. 7 team in the country, the University of Oregon Ducks. The Owls led that game going into the final inning, but were unable to shut the Ducks’ offense down.

Southern Utah University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, New Mexico State University and Drake University all fell victim to the Owls during the tournament.

Here’s a recap of each game:

Game One: Southern Utah 2, FAU 7

Sophomore Tatum Buckley took the mound for the Owls’ first game in Las Vegas on Friday, March 4. She shut down the Thunderbirds’ bats through the first four innings before running into her only struggle in the fifth.

Holding a 1-0 lead, Buckley allowed a two-run home run off the bat of junior infielder Jordan Theurer. However, Buckley’s offense had her back as it scored three runs in its next two innings, extending its lead to 7-2.

Sophomore shortstop Emily Lochten took the Owls’ lead back with a two-run home run, scoring senior third baseman Carnesha Thompson. Buckley scored the third run of the inning when junior rightfielder Delaney Rickey singled her in.

Thompson scored again in the sixth inning when senior second baseman Melissa Martinez singled. Martinez scored on a double from sophomore catcher Alex Miller.

Freshman first baseman Lauren Whitt singled in Miller for the Owls’ seventh and final run. Miller recorded three hits in her four at-bats during the game.

Buckley finished the game on the mound for the Owls.

Game Two: Owls 3, UNLV 1

Junior Kylee Hanson started the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, and like Buckley previously, pitched a complete game. Hanson struck out five UNLV batters and only allowed one run, which was unearned, to improve her record to 7-0.

All three of FAU’s runs came in the fourth inning. Lochten started the inning with a home run, her second of the day. Martinez followed Lochten with a double and later scored on a single by junior left fielder Sarah Bencivenga.

Bencivenga scored the Owls’ third run of the inning on a Miller single. Miller was the only Owl to collect multiple hits in the game, as she went 2-for-3.

Game Three: New Mexico State 3, FAU 5

The Owls wasted no time in getting on the board during Saturday’s first game, scoring one run in the first and second inning and three runs in the third.

The Thompson and Lochten combination started FAU’s scoring once again. Thompson hit a two-out triple and later scored on a Lochten single.

Junior starting pitcher Amanda Wilson allowed the Aggies to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning after allowing two home runs. The first was freshman first baseman Kelsey Horton, who was followed by freshman center fielder Victoria Castro.

Lochten then hit a two-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, her third of the weekend.

In another familiar combination of the weekend, Miller doubled and scored Martinez for the Owls’ fifth run of the game.

Hanson replaced Wilson in the fifth inning. She went on to shutout the Aggies’ offense, earning her third save of the year.

Wilson picked up the win to improve to 4-1.

Game Four: Owls 5, Oregon 6

In the fourth game of the weekend, the 16-1 Owls took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh against the No. 7 Oregon Ducks. With Hanson on the mound — after having just thrown two full and one third shutout innings — the Owls looked to be in position to upset the Ducks.

However, junior shortstop Nikki Udria and senior centerfielder Koral Costa hit back-to-back home runs off the Owls’ ace to tie the game, still with no out.

Junior pinch runner Sammie Puentes scored the game-winning run off a single by senior left fielder Geri Glasco. It marked Hanson’s first loss of the season.

Martinez recorded two hits in her three at-bats, scoring twice and knocking in one run.

Game Five: FAU 8, Drake University 0

The Owls got back to their winning ways on Sunday, mercy ruling Drake in five innings. Hanson recovered from her first loss by striking out eight batters and only allowing three hits in the five innings of work.

Lochten started the Owls’ scoring yet again on another two-run home run, her fourth of the weekend.

Martinez and Miller also continued their recent success at the plate as both went 2-for-3 in the game.

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. To contact him regarding this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.