Palm Beach Atlantic Softball Closes Out Perfect Week with Sweep of Lynn
March 27, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
LAKE WORTH, Fla.- After a big double-header sweep of Nova Southeastern University on Wednesday evening, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team closed out a 4-0 week on Saturday afternoon as they hosted Lynn University while defeating the Fighting Knights 8-4 and 2-0. Ashley Jones started both games for the Fish while getting the game one victory while Heather Laird completed the shutout in game two with four innings of relief to improve to 7-0 on the season.
Now 21-7 and riding a six game winning streak, the Sailfish welcomed in the Fighting Knights to John W. Anderson Field on Saturday afternoon for a twinbill under the bright sunshine filled sky. Sailfish shortstop Caitlin Bouschet had a big day at the plate for PBA with a homerun in each game while finishing the double-header 3-for-5 with four runs batted in, four runs scored, and a pair of walks.
In the opener, the Sailfish jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when sophomore Brittany Schneider connected for a double that plated fellow sophomore Mari Stokes for an early lead for the Fish. Back came LU however in the top of the third inning when they took advantage of a few well placed bunts and some mental mistakes by the Sailfish infield defense.
Jordan Angel began the inning with a single followed by LU pitcher Christie Kaufman reaching on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Up next stepped speedy leadoff hitter Brittany Gross who delivered a bunt single that loaded the bases with nobody out. A tapper back to the pitcher’s circle by Katrina Lavadan was fielded by the pitcher Jones however her throw pulled PBA catcher Erica Walters off the plate allowing Angel to score the first run.
After a pop out and a fielder’s choice left the score still tied and the bases still loaded, Lynn third-baseman Rachel Larkins collected an infield hit that scored Gross for the go-ahead run. Jones retired the final hitter on a strikeout to close out the inning and avoid further damage.
PBA would get those runs back and then some in the bottom of the inning as they plated three runs on a three-run homer off the bat of Cassady Faircloth, her third round-tripper of the season to forge ahead 4-2 after three innings.
Credit the Knights however as they would tie the game back up at 4-4 in the top of the fourth as they plated two more runs with a bunt single RBI from Gross and a single to right-field from catcher Kathleen Smith that plated another run.
PBA would retake the lead, this time for good, in the bottom of the fourth inning when Bouschet doubled into the right-centerfield gap that scored Natalia Ojeda from first-base. PBA broke things open in the bottom of the sixth inning as Chelsea Gravini added in a RBI single while Bouschet connected for a two-run homer to right-field.
Jones completed the game with three shutout innings over the final three frames and finished with nine strikeouts while allowing eight hits, four runs (two earned) and walking one in her seven innings pitched. The win improves her season record to 13-5.
Bouschet finished 2-for-4 in the game with two runs scored and three driven in while Faircloth drove in all three of her runs on the homerun, her only hit in three at-bats.
Gross and Lavadan formed a top duo at the top of the order for Lynn as they both were 2-for-4 with Gross scoring two runs. Kaufman dropped to 9-7 on the season with the loss while allowing eight runs (two earned) on seven hits, walking one, and striking out two. The Knights defense made six errors in game one.
The second game featured another start from Jones, her fourth of the week, as she tallied the first three scoreless innings before handing the ball over to her teammate Laird. Jones collected four strikeouts in her time on the rubber in game two and allowed only one hit and one walk.
Laird proved to be just as dominant against the LU lineup as she allowed only two hits over four frames while walking one and striking out three.
Kennedy Lewis (2-1) opposed the Sailfish senior pitching duo and pitched well but suffered her first loss of the season as PBA scored one run in the third inning and one in the fifth.
The run in the third frame came when Bouschet hit a long fly ball to left-centerfield that appeared to be securely in the glove of Lavadan, the Knights centerfielder. That was until Lavadan’s body connected with the fence allowing the ball to be jarred loose and giving Bouschet her second long-ball of the afternoon and fourth of the season. The LU coaching staff certainly took note as they would intentionally walk Bouschet later in the game with two outs and no one on base.
PBA added a run in the fifth inning as Faircloth singled up the middle to score the previously walked Bouschet to move ahead 2-0.
The Sailfish will continue their busy slate of action on Monday, March 29th when they play host to Eckerd College beginning at 5 p.m. for a double-header at Palm Beach State College. The Tritons and Sailfish split their earlier season matchup in early February in St. Petersburg.