Palm Beach Atlantic Softball Posts a Pair of Solid Victories to Open Wolves Invitational
March 4, 2011
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
CAROLLTON, Ga.- The Sailfish softball team represented the Sunshine State well on Friday afternoon as they opened up play at the Wolves Invitational, hosted by the University of West Georgia with a pair of victories against Georgia Southwestern University and the host Wolves of UWG. Caitlin Bouschet and Mackenzie Johnson provided the big blows offensively in each game as PBA prevailed 5-1 over GSWU and 8-6 over UWG.
Playing in their second tournament in as many weekends after traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida last weekend to participate in the Eckerd College Invitational, the Sailfish (13-7) needed to fight behind in both games to earn victories but did so with the confidence of winning their seventh game in their last nine tries.
Although the Sailfish would start slow in the tournament opener versus Georgia Southwestern (10-15), the Blue and White would respond in a big way down the stretch. GSWU struck first with a run in the top of the second-inning as Gabby Buck scored on a wild pitch to move in front by a 1-0 score.
That is where things would remain until the bottom of the fifth when the Fish scored five runs including four off the bat of senior Caitlin Bouschet who launched her second career grandslam over the right-centerfield fence to push PBA on top 5-1.
Cassady Faircloth drew a leadoff walk in the inning followed by a sacrifice bunt from pinch-hitter Lauren Powell. After a pinch-hit single from freshman Camille Benito put two runners on, junior catcher Erica Walters delivered a game-tying single to plate Faircloth.
GSWU would make a pitching change as Brittany Jones loaded the bases with a walk followed by the big blast from Bouschet to PBA in a more comfortable position.
Junior right-hander Chris Donovan polished off her eighth win of the season in the pitcher’s circle as she went the full seven innings while allowing only one run on five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Christie Shankle drops to 0-6 on the season as she took the tough-luck loss.
Walters finished 2-for-3 in the game as did Johnson as PBA managed seven hits as a team.
Game two featured another comeback story for the Sailfish as UWG jumped on top with two runs in the first inning followed by three more in the second inning to put the Fish in a deep 5-0 hole early.
The late innings however would see the Fish tally at least one run in their final four at-bats as they rallied for the 8-6 victory.
The big comeback began with one swing from Johnson who powered out her first collegiate homerun for a three-run shot in the top of the fourth inning to cut into the UWG lead at 5-3.
PBA tied the game in the fifth inning as Brittany Schneider connected for a RBI double while another run came in to score on a UWG error off the bat of Bouschet.
Palm Beach Atlantic took the lead for good in the sixth inning freshmen Benito and Powell supplied back-to-back doubles that gave the Fish a 6-5 advantage.
The Fish added two key insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning as Schneider led off with a double then advanced to third on a wild pitch and came around to score on another wild throw. Jones would reach on a two-out error by the Wolves and eventually come in to score on another Wolves error.
Although UWG would put forth their own rally in the bottom of the inning, PBA pitcher Lauren Bubeck would hold on and provide the Fish with their 13th victory in 20 tries so far this season.
Bubeck went the distance and after a rough start settled down to give the Fish another nice outing in the circle. Bubeck closed out her seven inning stint by allowing six runs (two earned), with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Antoinette Diaz (6-2) took the loss by allowing eight runs (four earned) and ten hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Johnson closed out her impressive day with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate including the big homerun. Schneider and Walters both proved solid at the top of the lineup as the junior duo each went 2-for-4 with Schneider scoring two runs.
Saturday’s games versus Florida Southern College and the University of Alabama-Huntsville have seen their projected game times pushed up with hopes of avoiding inclement weather. PBA versus FSC will now take place at 10 am while game two is projected for a 2 pm first-pitch.