Jones Masterpiece Leads Sailfish To Exciting Extra Innings Win at NCAA Regional Opener
May 14, 2010
Written By: PBA Sports Information Director, Michael Brown
VALDOSTA, Ga.- After suffering a pair of heart-breaking 2-1 losses against the University of West Florida to open the 2010 softball season, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team turned the tables on Friday afternoon for the opening game of the NCAA South Regional Tournament. Limiting UWF to only one hit, senior Ashley Jones and the Sailfish pushed across two runs in the top of the eighth inning to secure a 3-1 extra-innings victory.
With the opening-game victory of the double-elimination tournament, the Sailfish (35-11) now find themselves waiting the winner of #1-seed Valdosta State and #8-seed Albany State University to be played on Saturday, May 15th at 1:30 p.m.
After UWF (39-15) pitcher Jillian Lafrance (15-5) retired the Sailfish first three hitters in order in the top of the first inning, Jones went to work against the Lady Argonauts lineup who entered play today hitting .334 as a team. After retiring the first two hitters, Jones then surrendered a solo homerun to UWF third-baseman Amber Ingram that put the Argos up early 1-0.
UWF slugger Shannon Miles would then strike out swinging to end the inning which began a trend of dominance for Jones for the remainder of the game.
The Fish would tie the score at 1-1 in the top of the third inning as sophomore Brittany Schneider singled through the right-side of the infield that plated freshman Miranda Welch.
Things would remain tied through the next four and a half innings as extra innings would be necessary to decide the victor for the evenly matched teams.
Lafrance allowed a leadoff double in the top of the eighth inning to Natalia Ojeda that gave the Sailfish their second extra-base hit of the game. Senior Candace Horton would follow with a sacrifice bunt attempt that was thrown away by the UWF first-basemen that brought Ojeda home to score the go-ahead run.
A sharp single up the middle by Welch later in the inning gave the Sailfish a 3-1 advantage with three outs to play.
Jones retired the heart of the UWF lineup in order in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete the one-hitter. A senior from Jensen Beach, Florida and participating in her final action of her softball career along with her four senior teammates, Jones put together one of her finest outings to date by striking out nine batters, walking three, and hitting one batter.
Welch finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and one driven in as she paced the Sailfish ten-hit attack. Ojeda concluded her day 2-for-4 with a run scored while Dani Perrotti also registered two hits.
Extending their own program record for wins in a season, the Sailfish softball team joins the recent work of the PBA women’s tennis team as Sailfish athletic teams to register a victory at a NCAA regional event.
Friday afternoon’s contest versus the winner of Valdosta State and Albany State can be heard live via the Sailfish Sports Network with pregame coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m.