Great Pitching and Timely Hitting Lead Sailfish Softball to Road Sweep of Florida Southern

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Heather Laird (Pictured) Improved to 3-0 with Five Solid Innings Against Florida Southern College on Saturday Afternoon in a 3-2 PBA Victory. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Heather Laird (Pictured) Improved to 3-0 with Five Solid Innings Against Florida Southern College on Saturday Afternoon in a 3-2 PBA Victory. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla.- After losing just one home game last season, the Florida Southern College softball team had that feat happen twice on Saturday afternoon as the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team closed out a pair of tight contests against the Mocs and improved to 6-4 on the season. A two-out extra innings two-run double from Erica Walters backed a strong Ashley Jones outing in the first game while Heather Laird and Chris Donovan combined for a 3-2 win in game two.

Jones (3-3) came through with yet another outstanding performance for the Sailfish (6-4) in game one as she went all nine innings while allowing eight hits and one run while striking out a season-high 14 batters. FSC freshman right-hander Brittaney Alderman (2-1) was nearly as effective with three runs allowed (two earned) with seven strikeouts while allowing only four hits to the Fish in nine innings of work. 

PBA got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when junior shortstop Caitlin Bouschet reached on a error then came home to score when freshman second-baseman Natalia Ojeda landed a double down the left-field line.

FSC would tie things up at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning as Christine Clark opened the frame with a double and eventually came around to score on a RBI single from Bethany Boomer.

The score would remain 1-1 until the top of the ninth inning where the Sailfish would rally. Bouschet once again got things started as she was hit by a pitch followed by a single to left-center from Ojeda that put two runners on with nobody out. After both players moved up a base on a wild pitch and PBA left-fielder Chelsea Gravini was retired on a strikeout, Mari Stokes would step in and despite her effort her bunt attempt was voided as she popped it up to Alderman the pitcher.

Up next stepped in Walters who with two strikes drilled a ball into left-field that nearly left the park but did bring in both Bouschet and Ojeda, the go-ahead run as well as an insurance run.

Jones then followed suit in the bottom of the inning as she recorded three straight outs including her 14th strikeout of the day to end it.

Ojeda finished 2-for-4 in the game while Walters was joined by first-baseman Dani Perrotti as the only other PBA players to register hits.

Clark produced the only multi-hit game for Florida Southern as she finished 2-for-4.

In game two, Sailfish head coach Kimmy Bloemers would send senior Heather Laird (3-0) to the circle to try and keep her pitching record perfect on the season. Backed by five solid innings, Laird gave the Fish a chance to win by keeping the FSC hitters off balance and keeping them out of the big inning.

Florida Southern did however score the game’s first run when Mallory Butler connected for a RBI single in the second inning.

With FSC pitcher Christine Clark cruising through the first three frames, the Sailfish would finally put a chink in her armor in the fourth as they plated a pair of runs to take the lead 2-1. Walters led off with a walk then saw Perrotti reach on a fielder’s choice as the Mocs tried to get Walters at second-base on the bunt by Perrotti. A pair of runs came in to score when Brittany Schneider reached on an error by the FSC second-baseman as Walters and Perrotti both sped around to go on top.

The Moccasins would answer the call in the fifth as they trailed by one run. In what could have been a huge inning, the Mocs connected for three consecutive singles to start the frame by Boomer, Peggy Alex, and Lindsey Powell which brought home the tying run. Laird would step up from there however and get a double-play and groundout to end the inning with no more damage.

Back came the Sailfish in the top of the sixth inning as they plated what would be the winning run. Miranda Welch began the inning with a single while the next two batters were out on pop ups. Bouschet next stepped in and delivered a single while Ojeda once again did damage with an infield single to score Welch as the eventual winning run.

Sophomore Chris Donovan would enter to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning for PBA and responded by retiring all six batters she faced to record the save.

PBA pounded out nine hits in the second game with Bouschet finishing 3-for-4 as did center-fielder Mari Stokes.

Powell led the eight-hit attack for FSC with a 2-for-3 performance including an RBI while Butler also went 2-for-3 with a run batted in.

Clark took the loss to drop to 2-1 on the season with seven innings pitched, nine hits allowed, three runs (one earned), one walk, and one strikeout.

Palm Beach Atlantic will be off from game action until Friday, February 26th as they welcome in Flagler College for a double-header beginning at 4 p.m. on the campus of Palm Beach State College.  They also will host Mercyhurst College on Saturday, February 27th at 12:00 p.m. at Palm Beach Gardens High School.

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