Sailfish Complete NCCAA Sweep with South Region Championship Over North Greenville

Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director

Heather Laird (Pictured) Provided the Sailfish with Seven Strong Innings of Work in the NCCAA Regional Championship Victory Over North Greenville on Saturday Afternoon. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Heather Laird (Pictured) Provided the Sailfish with Seven Strong Innings of Work in the NCCAA Regional Championship Victory Over North Greenville on Saturday Afternoon. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

Box Score

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- Utilizing their position in the winner’s bracket which would have forced North Greenville University to beat them twice, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team wrapped up a solid day on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Crusaders as they earned their first NCCAA South Region championship since 2007.

Having not participated in the tournament for the previous two seasons, the Sailfish hosted the event this time around at Amanda J. Buckley Memorial Stadium on the campus of Palm Beach Gardens High School. After defeating NGU earlier in the morning in their first game after a first-round bye, the Fish duplicated their results with another two run win.

Senior Heather Laird (11-1) continued her recent good work for PBA as she improved to 11-1 on the season while limiting the Crusaders (26-21) to only three hits over seven innings with one run allowed (unearned). Laird walked only one batter while striking out two in the complete game victory.

NGU countered with Kristyn Smith who shook off her rough start in the first outing of the day against PBA with six solid innings of work as she allowed seven hits and three runs with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.

Palm Beach Atlantic (33-10) got on the board with two runs in the second inning as Mari Stokes led off with a single then was moved up by a sacrifice bunt from Dani Perrotti. After a walk to Erica Walters put two runners on with one out, freshman Miranda Welch singled home the game’s first run with a hard groundball up the middle to put the Fish in front 1-0. After a strikeout, sophomore Brittany Schneider came through with another clutch hit as she singled home Walters to move ahead 2-0.

NGU plated their only run of the contest in the top of the fourth inning as they took advantage of a pair of Sailfish errors while Hope Brewer came sprinting around to score and cut the lead to 2-1.

PBA added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning to cap the scoring as Natalia Ojeda led off with a triple then came home on a double-steal as Cassady Faircloth drew a throw to second-base.

Schneider finished the game 2-for-3 with a triple and a RBI from the leadoff spot while Miranda Welch contributed another two-hit game as well.

The Sailfish will host Florida Tech on Tuesday, April 27th for Senior Night as the Fish close out their regular season before awaiting where they will be going for potential postseason play. The double-header with FIT will begin at 6 p.m. with the games to be played at Palm Beach Gardens High School.

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