Sailfish Earns Successful Shutout Sweep of NSU Sharks
March 24, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- In yet another important South Region battle, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team welcomed in Nova Southeastern University on Wednesday night for a pair of games at Amanda J. Buckley Memorial Stadium. As it seemingly always does between PBA and NSU softball teams, both contests would go to the wire with PBA senior Ashley Jones tallying a pair of shutouts over NSU by the scores of 1-0 and 2-0.
Nationally-ranked since the preseason until dropping out of the top-25 this week despite winning all five games last week and 11 of their last 12 games, the Sharks (27-9) presented the Fish (19-7) with another tough challenge. Palm Beach Atlantic would rise to the occasion on Wednesday evening however as PBA tallied the sweep in dramatic fashion.
Seemingly un-hittable for most of the evening, Jones (12-5) had perhaps her best two games of the season as she limited the powerful NSU lineup, which entered play tonight batting .334 as a team, to only seven total hits between the two games and no runs. She walked only one and struck out 17 batters.
The Nova Southeastern hurlers were nearly as spectacular but fell just short in matching Jones and the Fish as they dropped two tough contests. Junior Devin Higginbotham (6-2) drew the opening game start and allowed only six hits and one earned r un while walking three and striking out five batters.
PBA scored their lone run in the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning as they got an infield single from senior Dani Perrotti that plated pinch-runner Brittany Schneider.
NSU got the leadoff runner on in the seventh inning when senior shortstop Lauren Lopez delivered a sharp single however Jones retired senior Britney Lamb on a strikeout swinging to end the game and secure the 1-0 win.
Perrotti finished 2-for-3 with an RBI as the Fish managed six hits in the win.
In the nightcap, Palm Beach Atlantic got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning in what turned out to be a controversial play. Candace Horton hit a groundball to the NSU shortstop Lopez whose throw skipped off the first-baseman’s glove and into the body of Horton and out of play for a base-runner for the Fish and moving into scoring position on the overthrow that went out of play. Despite her best efforts, NSU head coach Lisa Bonee argument would not change the call made by the home plate umpire and eventually lead to the NSU head skipper’s ejection from the ballgame.
After the dust cleared from the injury to Horton and the ejection of Bonee, the Fish would go back to work. Junior Cassady Faircloth laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Horton to third-base followed by a strikeout and Horton coming in to score on a wild-pitch to put PBA in front 1-0.
That is where the score would remain until the bottom of the sixth inning as PBA plated an insurance run as Schneider pinch-hit for the injured Horton and reached on an error by Caron inside the pitching circle. Faircloth would then follow with a long double that was just beyond the reach of NSU left-fielder Rachel Talenfeld that scored the speedy Schneider from first-base.
Jones would continue to show great poise in the final inning as she got two groundouts and a popout to end the game.
Lopez collected two of the Shark’s three hits in game two with a pair of singles including one that richocheted off Jones leg on a hard-shot in the fourth inning.
The PBA defense was stellar the entire night, making just one error between the two games. Bouschet and third-baseman Miranda Welch combined for 10 assists between the two games while sophomore catcher Erica Walters gunned down both NSU base-runners attempting to steal in game one.
Now winners of four straight and six of their last seven ballgames, the Fish will look to continue that momentum on Saturday, March 27th when they host Lynn University at 12 p.m. at Palm Beach State College. Both games of the double-header will be aired on the Sailfish Sports Network.