Bears softball splits DH against Florida Atlantic

BOCA RATON, Fla. – After a slow start in game one against Florida Atlantic, the Bears got the bats going in game two of the doubleheader, splitting a pair of games against the Owls Tuesday afternoon. Central Arkansas moves to 16-11 on the year.

In addition to the offense picking up in game two, Kayla Beaver pitched a gem of a game, giving up just one hit on the night, blanking the Owls for her tenth win of the season.

Game One: Central Arkansas – 1, FAU – 4

The Owls put up the first run of the game in the first inning, opening the game with a triple and finding a way to move the runner home. From there, Jordan Johnson struck out two batters in a row to eliminate any further threat.

Central Arkansas would put runners on in the third and fourth innings, but stout FAU defense would prevent the Bears from tying up the game while the margin remained one run. Then in the fourth, the Owls added another run, followed by runs in the fifth and sixth to create a 4-0 cushion.

Swinging until the end, Central Arkansas fought to get the bases loaded in the seventh inning, trying to mount a comeback late in the game. Jenna Wildeman singled through the infield to bring in one run, at least getting the team on the board, but the one run was all the Bears could put up before the final out.

Game Two: Central Arkansas – 5, FAU – 0

Looking to salvage one game of the doubleheader, the lineup turned it up a notch right out of the gates. Wildeman got walked to start things, advancing to second on a wild pitch. Moving over to third base on the next at bat, she was driven home by a double from Mary Kate Brown, giving the Bears an early lead.

Lexi McClellan got on base in the second inning, hitting a single to left field with two outs. Emily Sampson took care of the rest, blasting a double out to left center, and the speedy McClellan took off and made it home, putting the lead at 2-0 in as many innings.

Then in the third, Jaylee Engelkes earned her team-leading 19th walk, getting moved to second on a Kylie Griffin bunt. Entering the game as a pinch runner, Lindsey Williams came in to add some pressure on the defense, giving the Bears an added burst of speed on the basepaths. With two outs, Kristen Whitehouse put one down the left line, bringing Williams around for the third run of the game.

Meanwhile, the Owls took until the fourth inning to put a hit down, having only had a baserunner due to a fielding error. Yet the threat was short-lived, as Beaver and the defense kept the opposing batters in check all game long.

Already up three, Tremere Harris reached base on an infield single to start off the seventh. A couple of batters later, Engelkes came up big again, blasting her fifth home run of the season to essentially putting the cherry on top of an all-around game by the Bears.

Central Arkansas returns home this weekend, hosting its first-ever ASUN series at Farris Field. There, the Bears will face Kennesaw State, playing another team of Owls on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch on Saturday is set for 2 p.m.