May 17, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chattanooga shortstop Jill Crawford went 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the Lady Mocs to a 6-1 victory over top-seeded Florida Atlantic on Friday evening in Game 7 of the Tallahassee Regional. With the win, Chattanooga improved to 44-13 and advanced in the winner’s bracket to Game 9 vs. Georgia Tech on Friday at 3:30 p.m. With the loss, FAU is eliminated and finished the season 62-13.
“Well again, we’re just happy to be back here,” UTC Head Coach Frank Reed said. “We won another game and the kids played tough. We came in with the attitude that we could beat anybody here. We talked about that yesterday and we talked about the fact that we could be beat too. Whoever came out and played hard that day has a little break and I think that happened for us again today. We’re excited about that. The Lord’s been good to me and allowed me to be here. We’re just tickled.”
Florida Atlantic took an early 1-0 lead when Candice Freel doubled in pinch-runner Jessica Fernandez in the second inning, however, the Lady Owls would not score again. Chattanooga picked up two runs in the bottom of the third inning. With two out and two on and the bases loaded, Crawford drove in two runs with a single toward third base. The Lady Mocs broke it open with four runs off of seven hit, including six straight singles, in the fifth inning. With two out, it was Crawford again who singled with the bases loaded to drive in two runs. Jolene Martin also picked up two RBIs with a base hit to left field.
The Lady Owls recorded eight hits, but stranded eight players on the base paths. UTC senior pitcher Beth Alexander recorded her second win over FAU in as many days and improved to 25-6 overall. Freel got the loss and finished the year at 26-6.
“We played hard and I think we had two base running mistakes in the second inning. We had an opportunity to break the game open in the second inning and we didn’t get it done. We had a very close call at the plate that I think made a difference in the game and what else can I say, after that, they just pounded us.”
Chattanooga, the regional’s sixth seed, has now won 13 straight games and the Lady Mocs’ two regional wins is the most in the program’s history.