Sailfish Softball Falls One Game Short in Quest for NCCAA Regional Title

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Box Score

GREENVILLE, S.C.- After putting themselves in a hole by losing the opening game of the NCCAA South Regional tournament on Friday afternoon, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team had the unfortunate task of trying to fight their way back through the loser’s bracket on Saturday in hopes of claiming another regional championship. After dominating wins over Emmanuel College and North Greenville University forced a rematch between PBA and NGU, the Crusaders would hold on 3-2 in the final game to close out the two-day tournament.

After dropping their opening game 9-7 on Friday against #2-seeded North Greenville, the Sailfish (27-19) received much better pitching and defense on Saturday to go along with a high-scoring offense in their first two games. PBA eliminated Emmanuel in the morning by a 10-2 score and then soundly defeated the Crusaders by a mercy-rule score of 9-0 in the early afternoon.

That would set up a final matchup with NGU as they had to be defeated twice in the double-elimination tournament.

The Sailfish would grab an early lead of 1-0 on senior Cassady Faircloth’s RBI double in the top of the second inning that plated the team’s other senior in Caitlin Bouschet. The Crusaders wouldn’t be put away this time around however as they responded with all three of their runs in the bottom of the inning as they produced a pair of hits and took advantage of two PBA errors.

PBA would do their best to figure out NGU pitcher Kimberly Robertson, loading the bases twice in the final three innings only to have their rally fall short each time. The Fish crossed one run in the sixth inning on a Erica Walters run-scoring single but that would be the final run to cross home plate for the Blue and White.

They would load the bases with two outs in the seventh inning but Robertson proved clutch again as she retired the final PBA batter on a groundout to end the game and the season for the Sailfish.

Junior Lauren Bubeck took the loss despite a solid outing as she allowed only four hits and three runs (two earned) with two walks and two strikeouts over six innings.

Roberts tallied her fourth win of the season while striking out three and walking two while allowing only five hits over seven innings.

Walters and Faircloth each finished 2-for-2 in the game with RBI base-hits.

In the 9-0 win over North Greenville in the opening of the championship series the Sailfish jumped out with two runs in the first inning thanks to a two-run homer from Bouschet.

They would add on as the game went forward scoring a single run in the third and two more in the fifth before putting the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning.

Bouschet finished 2-for-2 while driving in three runs and scoring three times. Walters and Mackenzie Johnson each contributed a pair of hits as did Brittany Schneider as the Sailfish backed a solid effort from Chris Donovan who went to the pitcher’s circle.

Donovan went the first five innings and allowed only five hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts while Bubeck logged the final inning in relief to close out the contest.

Against the Lions of Emmanuel College, the Fish once again relied on a big offensive performance from up and down the lineup as they finished with 12 hits in the 10-2 win.

Neither team would score early as it was 0-0 entering the top of the third inning as EC actually moved in front by a 2-0 score. PBA would respond however in the bottom of the inning with three runs of their own in large part due to four Lion’s errors.

Bouschet began the fifth inning with a bang as she collected a solo homer as PBA managed six runs on four hits and a pair of EC errors to move comfortably in front after five innings of play to close out the win.

Stokes and Bouschet were the only two players in the lineup to register a multi-hit game however every PBA starter had at least one hit in the game.

Bubeck was once again stellar in the circle as she allowed six hits and no earned runs while walking none and striking out three batters in five innings of work.

The Sailfish conclude the 2011 season with their fourth straight 25+ win season as they look to build on this year’s success heading into next season. Saturday was the final games for seniors Caitlin Bouschet, Cassady Faircloth, and Brittany Schneider in a Sailfish uniform.

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