NSU Sharks Sweep Sailfish with Timely Hitting on Friday Night
April 15, 2011
Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
DAVIE, Fla.- Despite out-hitting their opponent in both games of their doubleheader at the A.D. Griffin Complex, the Palm Beach Atlantic softball team would come up painfully short in both games as they dropped a pair to Nova Southeastern by the scores of 5-2 and 8-3. The two victories for NSU helped the Sharks claim the season series sweep over the Sailfish with NSU improving to 26-18 while PBA drops to 22-16.
With both teams hanging on in NCAA postseason contention, the Sharks received a solid pitching outing from senior Lexi Sarradet in the opener while the NSU offense took advantage of a rare rough outing for Sailfish ace right-hander Chris Donovan.
Struggling with the command of her pitches, the Sailfish junior didn’t last out of the first inning in game one as freshman Brianna Parker was called into early duty after Donovan could retire only one batter while allowing three runs on one hit and four walks.
Parker pitched admirably in relief by allowing only four hits and two earned runs the rest of the way in her 5.2 innings of relief time as she registered four strikeouts.
Palm Beach Atlantic jumped ahead of NSU with a first inning run on a sacrifice fly RBI from senior shortstop Caitlin Bouschet to give the Fish an early 1-0 lead.
After Nova’s three-run first inning, the Sharks would tack on an additional run in the bottom of the second inning to extend their lead to 4-1 as Laura Salidrigas would deliver a two-out run-scoring single.
The Fish once again responded with a run of their own in the top of the third inning on another Bouschet sac fly, this time scoring Miranda Welch who singled to start the inning.
A Saladrigas solo homerun in the bottom of the fifth added an insurance run for the Sharks as Sarradet worked in and out of trouble throughout the night with PBA stranding seven base-runners.
Sarradet improved to 10-4 with the win as she scattered eight hits while walking none and striking out 11 batters. Donovan drops to 14-6 on the season.
Welch continued her good run of luck at the plate of late with a 2-for-3 performance with a pair of runs scored while Mari Stokes and Cassady Faircloth each finished 2-for-3 as well.
Saladrigas finished 3-for-3 with three runs driven in with leadoff hitter Katie Kelton concluding game one with a 2-for-2 showing including a pair of runs scored and a walk.
Game two matched PBA’s Lauren Bubeck with Devin Higginbotham of NSU for a matchup of right-handers for the nightcap.
In one of the stranger games of the season, the Sharks managed eight runs despite only registering three hits. PBA finished with nine hits but only three runs scored.
NSU put together a first inning rally to take the early lead when Gina Bondarenko singled through the left-side to plate the game’s first run.
The score would remain 1-0 until the top of the third inning when a play happened involving PBA outfielder Brittany Jones at the plate that had both teams scratching their heads.
With Jones at the plate and the bases loaded with two-outs, it appeared as if Higginbotham retired the final batter of the inning on strikes. The only problem was that the ball skipped into the catcher’s glove and Jones took off for first-base on the dropped third strike. Because NSU neither tagged Jones or stepped on home plate for the force out, the Fish alertly kept running while NSU had their players heading to the dugout.
Both Stokes and Lauren Powell motored around to move PBA ahead 2-1 in one of the most bizarre of manners.
The Fish added on to their lead at 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning as Powell smashed a triple that plated Brittany Schneider who reached on a hit-by-pitch earlier in the inning.
Things would get even more nutty in the bottom of the inning as NSU would rally for seven runs against a pair of PBA pitchers. With Bubeck struggling to throw consistent strikes, PBA head coach Kimmy Bloemers lifted the veteran in favor of Parker who entered with the game tied at 2-2 and the bases loaded full of Sharks.
Despite not being called for any illegal pitches in her 5.1 innings of action in the first-game, Parker was immediately called for two illegal tosses on back-to-back pitches this time around as the tying and then go-ahead run were forced in without the benefit of a hit giving NSU the 4-2 advantage.
After a stolen base and a walk loaded the bases again, Saladrigas came through with another big blow as she cleared the bases on a short double that just escaped the diving attempt by Schneider in right-center that pushed NSU in front 7-3. A throwing error by Parker allowed the final run of the inning to score.
Higgenbotham (5-3) finished with six solid innings inside the circle before giving way to Saladrigas who closed out the seventh inning with a hit allowed and one strikeout.
Bubeck took the loss for PBA as she drops to 7-7 after 3.2 innings of work with only two hits allowed and five runs (one earned) with a pair of walks and four wild pitches.
Powell led the way offensively for PBA with a perfect 4-for-4 game two while Camille Benito added in a 2-for-4 showing off the bench.
Palm Beach Atlantic will have the remainder of the weekend off as they will host Barry University on Wednesday, April 20th at the Lake Catherine Sportsplex for a double-header beginning at 5 pm.