Palm Beach Atlantic Defeats UWF but Falls to Flagler at Eckerd Tournament on Friday
February 25, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
CLEARWATER, Fla.- Beginning a busy weekend of collegiate softball action, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team opened up play at the Eckerd College Invitational on Friday night with two key contests against the likes of the University of West Florida and Flagler College. The Fish and Argonauts needed extra innings to settle their opener as PBA prevailed 10-5 in nine innings while Flagler feasted on Sailfish pitching in the nightcap for a 9-1 win in six innings.
Taking on the University of West Florida for the first time since the opening game of last season’s NCAA South Regional Tournament, the Fish (8-6) fought back from an early 2-0 deficit with four runs in the top of the sixth inning as they finally broke through against UWF starter Ashliegh McLean.
With two outs and nobody on, Erica Walters began the rally with a single followed by a walk to Caitlin Bouschet. An infield single from Brittany Jones would then load the bases for Mackenzie Johnson who delivered with a game-tying two-run single through the right-side of the infield. Up next stepped Brittany Schneider would doubled home another run followed by a run-scoring single from Kimberly Traxler.
A four-run inning that began with two outs and no one on base.
The Argonauts (4-1) fought back however with single runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and forced extra innings with one run in the bottom of the seventh off PBA reliever Chris Donovan (3-1).
Playing international rules, both teams were able to scratch out a run in the eighth inning which set the stage for the ninth inning rally that PBA would use to take the game.
With Schneider placed on second-base and the Fish failing the get her over on a sacrifice bunt attempt followed by a groundout, things appeared bleak. That’s when the rally really began to flourish as PBA’s Miranda Welch connected for a two-out RBI single to plate the go-ahead run.
Welch’s single opened the flood gates it would appear as Mari Stokes then followed with a single which then allowed Erica Walters to drive in another run with a RBI single. Bouschet then stepped in an proceeded to rip a two-run triple while Jones finished off the five run inning with a RBI single.
Although UWF would threaten in the bottom of the inning, PBA would hold on for the win.
Lauren Bubeck went the first six innings in the circle for PBA while allowing four hits and three runs, striking out five and walking seven batters. Donovan earned the win with only one hit allowed in her three innings of time in the circle with a pair of strikeouts.
Jones finished with a season-high four hits in five at-bats to lead PBA while Stokes, Walters, and Johnson each added in two hits.
McLean tallied her first loss on the season by allowing 14 hits and all ten runs (eight earned) with two walks and three strikeouts.
Against the Saints (17-1) who were defeated for the first time on the season earlier in the tournament by the University of Tampa, the Fish simply never got going after the nine inning affair with UWF.
The #22-ranked Saints plated a run in the first followed by four more runs in the second inning to back starting pitcher Kalyn Loverich to an early lead.
After PBA cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning, the Saints would end the evening of Donovan as she lasted only 1.2 innings while allowing five hits and four earned runs.
Brianna Parker would toss the next 3.1 innings with not much greater success as she allowed eight hits and five runs (four earned).
Flagler concluded the contest by scoring two runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning to claim the mercy-rule victory.
Bouschet collected two of PBA’s three hits in the game.
The Fish will return to action on Saturday by taking on the University of Massachusetts-Lowell at 11 am and then Eckerd College at 1:30 p.m.