FAU Downs Villanova
March 1, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Following a pair of wins to open the USF Under Armour Invitational, the Villanova (5-3) softball suffered a setback Saturday afternoon against Florida Atlantic (10-7), as the Wildcats fell 3-0 at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
FAU starting pitcher Samantha Messer controlled the Wildcats bats the entire afternoon, earning the complete game shutout to improve to 4-1 on the season. The junior allowed eight hits and struck out six in seven innings of work.
Kate Poppe got the nod in the circle and set the side down in order to begin the afternoon. In the bottom of the first, Ali Lowe would lead things off with a single but was thrown out by catcher Bell Mackey trying to steal second base. An error by the first baseman would put Natalia Segovia on base but a strikeout to the next batter would end the Villanova threat.
Following a scoreless second inning the Owls would rally with two outs and produce three runs in the top of third inning. Kathryn Spack led off with a single and advanced to second on a sac bunt by the following batter. Lindsey Shell would single up the middle to drive in the first run of the game. The next FAU batter walked and advanced to scoring position along with Shell due to a passed ball by the catcher. Jordan Stovall would notch a single up the middle for a pair of RBIs to put the Owls up 3-0.
In the latter half of the inning, Shea Palmer would reach first base on an error by the pitcher before being thrown out at second by the third baseman on a fielder's choice. Lowe would reach for the second time in the game after taking a fastball to the elbow. However, FAU pitcher Samantha Messer would buckle down and record two straight outs to halt the threat.
FAU would lead off the top of the fourth with a single through the right side followed by a double to right center to chase Poppe off the mound. Freshman Jordan Prutzer would come in and escape the jam for the Wildcats. Whitley Hurb would line out to the third baseman who touched the base to record a double play. Prutzer would get Lindsey Shell to chase on a nasty fastball in the dirt to keep the Owls lead at three. Despite a Chase Snell single through the right side to start the inning, Villanova was unable to get anything cooking in the fourth. Messer would force a pair of fielder's choice outs and a strikeout to get out of the inning scoreless.
Prutzer looked flawless in the top of the fifth and recorded three consecutive ground outs to the left side for a one-two-three inning. Ali Angelbello would lead the inning off with a single before the next two Wildcats would ground into fielder's choices putting Lowe on the base paths. The senior would steal second but was unable to cross the plate when Palmer struck out.
Despite putting two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, Villanova was unable to produce damage as Messer got a pair of fly outs followed by a ground to end the ball game.
Poppe allowed three runs on five hits in three innings on the bump. Prutzer was solid outstanding in relief, tossing three innings four innings out of the bullpen and allowing no runs on three hits. Lowe finished two-for-three at the plate. Snell, Jessica Angersbach, Sierra McConnell and Angelbello each nodded a hit in the afternoon.
The Wildcats will aim to bounce back against Kennesaw State in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Be sure to follow the team socially on Twitter @VUSoftball, Instagram @novasoftball and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest scores and highlights from Clearwater.