Softball Claims Runner-Up Trophy, Four Individual Honors at FGCU Tourney
March 5, 2007
PBA started the tournament with a Friday afternoon match-up against Mercyhurst College, defeating the Lakers 3-2. The Sailfish then turned up the heat, beating Florida Gulf Coast 6-4 in an evening affair. The win was the first-ever victory for PBA over FGCU in any sport, and was a major season highlight as the Eagles entered the contest with a 19-2 record this year.
Day 2 for the Sailfish was almost as good, as it started with yet another win over Saginaw Valley State. PBA took care of the Cardinals in a 5-2 final, and then shifted their focus to the 13th-ranked Pioneers from Long Island University-C.W. Post. C.W. Post put an end to the Sailfish win streak, winning the game of small ball in a 2-1 finish.
Even though Head Coach Kimmy Bloemers’ squad beat Florida Gulf Coast, the Eagles still took home the championship due to their 5-1 overall record, having played six games compared to PBA’s four. Regardless, the Sailfish continued to make their identity known, bringing their season record to 10-17 after starting out 0-9.
Four players from Palm Beach Atlantic were honored for their performances with All-Tournament Team accolades including juniors Casey Gibson (Cape Coral, Fla./N. Fort Myers) and Andrea Fugate (Lake Wales, Fla./St. Petersburg CC) and freshmen Ashley Jones (Jensen Beach, Fla./Jensen Beach) and Chelsea Gravini (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian).
Gibson displayed her leadership both with her glove and her bat throughout the weekend. The center fielder recorded five hits in the tournament, including a 3-for-4 game against FGCU, while tracking down several balls in the outfield, including a diving catch in the same game. Gravini equaled Gibson’s showing against Gulf Coast, boasting a 3-for-4 record and 2 RBI while raising her season batting average to .293.
Fugate and Jones were spectacular from the pitching rubber all weekend, as both put on exceptional performances when they were needed most. Fugate pitched all seven innings of the FGCU game, striking out six eagles while throwing six scoreless innings. Jones pitched nine innings throughout the tournament, all while not giving up a run. The freshman added a total of ten strikeouts to her season’s stat line, bringing her ERA down to 4.30 this year.
The Sailfish will take a few days off before making a mid-week trip back to the west side of Florida. PBA will travel to St. Petersburg on Tuesday for 5 p.m. match-up against Eckerd College, followed by a 12 Noon matinee at Saint Leo on Wednesday.