Ashley Jones Tosses a No-Hitter and Tallies Two Wins Over Flagler on Friday Night
February 26, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
LAKE WORTH, Fla.- Displaying one of the more dominant performances of her storied Palm Beach Atlantic career, Sailfish softball pitcher Ashley Jones collected her second career no-hitter in game one on Friday night in a 5-0 PBA in at John W. Anderson Field then fired back for a 4-3 extra innings win in game two as the Fish won their fourth straight.
After tossing a complete-game seven inning no-hitter in game one, Jones went back to the circle in game two and tossed five more no-hit innings against the Saints before handing a 3-0 lead to the Sailfish bullpen. After sophomore Chris Donovan managed a scoreless and still hitless sixth inning, senior Heather Laird came on to attempt to close it out.
The Saints (8-8) who have tallied wins already this season against #15-ranked Nova Southeastern, Saint Leo University, and Florida Tech among others, began the seventh inning with a leadoff walk to left-fielder Britney Hatem who advanced to second-base on a passed ball. Pinch-hitter Kathy Cabrera then reached on a Sailfish error to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out and runners at the corners.
After pinch-runner Kaley King swiped second-base, the attempted throw skipped off the glove of PBA shortstop Caitlin Bouschet which brought home the game’s first run. Another Flagler walk to Heather Hill put the tying runs on which were then moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Flagler’s Andy Hay.
Brittany Simmons then followed through with a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3. Laird retired the next Flagler hitter with a strikeout before head coach Kimmy Bloemers opted to go back to Jones inside the circle. Jones answered the challenge and struck out Stacy Piagno to end the end.
Despite threatening for a run in the bottom of the seventh, it would take another inning of play for PBA to notch the win.
Reliever Jana Owen came on to face the Fish in the eighth inning relieving Kristen Chapman who allowed six hits, three runs, two walks, and one strikeout in seven solid innings of work. After a Mari Stokes flyout, senior Chelsea Gravini would work a walk then advance to second-base on a wild-pitch. Senior Candace Horton then delivered a sharp single to left-field holding Gravini at third-base. Gravini would come in to score the game-winning run when Owen’s offering to Miranda Welch would skip past the catcher allowing Gravini to score on the wild-pitch for the wild, 4-3 PBA win.
PBA got on the board in game two when Natalia Ojeda registered an RBI double to score Bouschet while Erica Walters then knocked in Ojeda with a run-scoring single. The Fish added another run in the fourth inning when Brittany Schneider collected an RBI on a groundout.
Horton was the only player in the game to register multiple hits with a 2-for-3 showing after pinch-hitting during the middle innings. She finished with a single and double.
In game one, Jones proved to be downright masterful as she tallied 14 strikeouts with her only blemishes being two walks and a hit-by-pitch. For the day, the senior Jensen Beach product collected 24 strikeouts, with one hit allowed, zero runs, two walks, two hit-by-pitch, in 13.1 innings.
With both teams failing to register a hit or run through the first three innings, the Sailfish finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning as Stokes cracked a two-run double into left-centerfield to plate both Bouschet and Ojeda who had singled to start the inning.
PBA added three more runs in the fifth inning that eventually chased starter Kelly Riddick (6-5). Ojeda and Walters both drew bases-loaded walks while Stokes added in another RBI on a sacrifice fly.
That would be all Jones would need as she closed out her second career no-hitter, the other one coming on May 7th, 2009 against Indiana Wesleyan University at the NCCAA National Tournament.
In game one, Bouschet finished 1-for-2 at the plate with a pair of runs scored and two walks. Stokes finished with three runs driven in.
Palm Beach Atlantic will look to continue their win streak on Saturday as they will take on Mercyhurst College at 10 a.m. at Palm Beach Gardens High School for a double-header. Both games will be aired on the Sailfish Sports Network.