Benito and Roberts Play the Heroes as the Sailfish Sweep Florida Southern in Softball
April 12, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- A late homerun by sophomore Camille Benito on Thursday evening helped lift the Sailfish softball team to a 2-1 game one victory over Florida Southern College before freshman Ashley Roberts took over the spotlight with a grandslam and a walk-off single in the ninth inning to help PBA take an 8-7 win in game two.
The sweep for Palm Beach Atlantic improves their record to 26-21 while the two losses puts a damper on a fine season for Florida Southern as they drop to 30-14.
In one of the quicker games of the season, the Sailfish and Moccasins went scoreless for the first three innings before FSC third-baseman Brittany Martin popped a solo homerun off Sailfish starter Mary Pippin (16-11) over the centerfield fence in the top of the fourth.
Things would remain 1-0 in favor of the Mocs until the bottom of the sixth inning as Benito blasted a 2-run shot off FSC lefty Christine Clark to give the Fish the lead.
Pippin returned to the circle for the seventh inning and retired the Mocs without a run to hold on for a 2-1 victory.
Clark proved to be the tough luck loser in game one as she allowed only four hits with one walk and three strikeouts while Pippin struck out four batters and allowed seven hits.
The second game would not go as quickly or quietly as the opener as the teams would need nine innings to settle a winner.
The Mocs were the first to strike as Karlyn Scott drilled the first pitch of the game over the centerfield fence for a leadoff homer as Pippin returned to the circle for the nightcap.
The Fish however would respond in a big way as they got to FSC starter Sam Gale for a run in the first inning as well as Benito cashed in on a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 1-1.
PBA added two more runs in the second inning which included a RBI groundout by Kara Anderson and another run coming in to score on a two-out error by the Mocs shortstop.
The Sailfish would chase Gale from the circle for good in the third inning as they loaded the bases with one out. Lauren Wolfe entered in relief and after retiring the first batter she faced on a popup, she would allow Roberts to crack a grand slam just out of the reach of the FSC outfielder as Roberts chose a great time for her first collegiate long-ball.
Now up 7-1 and Pippin rounding back into form following the leadoff homer in the first, the Fish appeared well on their way to a double-header sweep with ease.
Things unfortunately turned for the worse for PBA in the fifth inning as FSC plated six runs after two outs and nobody on.
Scott doubled with two outs followed by a run-scoring single by Steph Graziani. A pair of Sailfish errors then opened the door for five more runs to come around as FSC miraculously tied the score at 7-7.
The score would remain tied into extra innings as the international tie-breaker would be utilized for the remainder of the game, placing a runner on second-base to start each frame.
Oddly enough neither team would score in the eighth while FSC was shutout again in the top of the ninth inning.
That set the stage for PBA’s run in the ninth inning as Mari Stokes was sacrificed to third-base with one out followed by a hit-by-pitch of Erica Walters, placing runners on the corners with one out.
A popup by Brianna Parker gave the Moccasins two outs but Roberts then laced a single through the left-side to plate a sprinting Stokes for the game-winner.
The Fish put together their rally against Clark who had entered in relief for the final few innings.
Palm Beach Atlantic received a big relief outing from senior Chris Donovan who would go on to collect the victory as she improved to 5-3. Donovan tossed the final four innings as she allowed only two hits and did not walk a batter.
Roberts finished her career-night with a 3-for-5 showing including five runs batted in with two more scored.
Stokes and Anderson both contributed two hits apiece.
PBA will have the weekend off from game action and return to the Lake Catherine Sportsplex on Wednesday, April 18th when they will square off against Lynn University at 5 pm.