Sailfish Collect a Pair of Wild Wins in Home Sweep of Barry University

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Chelsea Gravini (Pictured) Came Through with a Huge Performance at the Plate in Game One of PBA's Double-Header Sweep of Barry University by Hitting 2-for-2 with Three Runs Scored and Three Driven In. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Chelsea Gravini (Pictured) Came Through with a Huge Performance at the Plate in Game One of PBA's Double-Header Sweep of Barry University by Hitting 2-for-2 with Three Runs Scored and Three Driven In. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

LAKE WORTH, Fla.- If coming back from a two-run deficit in the final inning to win their opener on Tuesday evening versus Barry University wasn’t enough, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team pulled out a second win in their final at-bat in the nightcap with a 2-1 victory in the bottom of the seventh inning. PBA has now won ten straight games and improves to 25-7.

In what wasn’t their best all-around performance of the season, the Sailfish somehow overcame a rocky start and some uncharacteristic shoddy defense in the opener against the Buccaneers (25-17) with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, only to take advantage of two BU errors in the final inning of game two to earn their first-ever softball sweep of Barry University.

Senior Chelsea Gravini lined a game-tying triple in the seventh in game on a line drive just inside foul line that made its way into the right-field corner. Freshman Natalia Ojeda singled home Gravini down the left-field line for the game-winner.

Senior Ashley Jones (16-5) picked up both game victories after coming in relief of Heather Laird in game one then tossing the complete game effort in the second outing.

In the opening game, Barry scored twice in the first inning thanks to a two-run homerun with two outs by third-baseman Amanda Goelz.

The Bucs pushed their advantage to 3-0 in the top of the second inning as Amanda Durkin lined a one-out double then came home to score on a Grace Collins RBI single.

The Fish would begin to chip away at the BU lead in the bottom of the second inning as Gravini was hit by a pitch with two outs followed by an Ojeda single that allowed Gravini to reach third-base. Erica Walters then stepped in and delivered a groundball to the area of BU shortstop Cassy Zamora who was unable to handle the grounder allowing Gravini to score and pull within 3-1.

As Barry would add a run in the top of the fourth inning on a bunt single from Zamora, PBA would fight right back and  tack on single runs in the fourth and fifth innings as BU starter Brianna Smith continued to attempt to work herself in and out of jams. Cassady Faircloth delivered a RBI single in the fourth while Gravini collected a two-out single in the fifth to score Brittany Schneider.

BU would add an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning to move ahead 5-3 on a solo homerun from first-baseman Jessica Tabor. That set the stage for PBA’s dramatic seventh inning.

After Dani Perrotti was hit-by-a-pitch to leadoff the frame and Miranda Welch drew a walk, BU head coach Danielle Penner opted to go to her bullpen as she selected junior Paula Mackin to relieve Smith. That’s when Gravini ripped the two-run triple that brought the Sailfish fans in attendance to their feet. Ojeda connected for the game-winning single as the next batter.

Laird tossed 3.1 innings for PBA and allowed eight hits and four earned runs while Jones picked up the win by tossing 3.2 innings of relief while allowing three hits and one earned run, striking out three.

Smith was at times effectively wild for Barry however the hard-throwing southpaw walked four batters, hit four others, and was touched for seven hits and five runs in six plus innings. Macklin took the loss, her seventh of the season, after the game winner by Ojeda fell in.

Ojeda finished game one 2-for-4 while Schneider also collected a pair of hits in four at-bats. Gravini finished 2-for-2 with three runs scored and three driven in.

In game two, BU starter Jessica Bevlin had a no-hitter working entering the seventh inning when she and her defense would run into serious complications.

The inning began with a four-pitch walk to Mari Stokes followed by a sacrifice bunt from Schneider. Perrotti then delivered a soft line-drive into right-field that broke up the no-hitter and put runners on the corners, or so most thought.  Perrotti wisely attempted to get in a run-down between first and second base only to see Bevlin’s throw skip off the shortstop Zamora’s glove into short centerfield allowing Stokes to sprint home with the tying run.

Perrotti would be lifted for pinch-runner Chris Donovan when Miranda Welch hit a groundball to third-base and was thrown out at first-base for the second out of the inning. Donovan would attempt to advance to third-base and make it safely as first-baseman Jessica Tabor’s throw sailed out of play allowing Donovan to trot home to complete an unpredictable and wild evening of softball.

Jones was solid in the nightcap with seven innings, allowing only a run on a wild-pitch in the first inning. From that point she limited BU to only four hits and just the one earned run while tallying nine strikeouts.

The Sailfish will hope to keep their winning streak alive on Wednesday, April 7th as they will take on another tough opponent in Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida beginning at 2 p.m. Both games of the double-header will be aired on the Sailfish Sports Network.

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