Russo and Fugate Lead PBA Softball to First Victory of the Season

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

DAVIE, Fla.- Ninth place hitters aren’t supposed to do a lot of offensive damage. Tell that to the Lynn University softball team.

Palm Beach Atlantic University second-baseman and ninth-place hitter Sam Russo came through for the second consecutive game versus the Fighting Knights with a clutch two-run double in the bottom half of the fifth inning that put the Sailfish in prime position for a 4-3 victory in the final game of the Barry/NSU tournament on Sunday afternoon.

PBA senior right-hander Andrea Fugate (1-2) earned the victory for the Fish by putting forth another solid outing on her way to her first win of the 2008 campaign. A Lake Wales, Florida native, Fugate went the distance for the Fish and closed out the Knights by allowing only four hits and one run while also registering three strikeouts in the tournament finale.

While PBA has stumbled somewhat out of the gate from an offensive standpoint, the young Sailfish squad got the timely hits they needed against Lynn on Sunday to earn a much-needed victory.

Entering the fifth inning trailing 1-0, freshman Sarah Bronson (Cape Coral, Fla.) reached on an infield single with one out before being replaced by pinch runner Melissa Wallach (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Sophomore Heather Laird (Venice, Fla.) would follow Bronson’s single with a base-hit of her own, which set things up for Russo.

A senior from Port Orange, Florida, Russo lined the LU pitcher’s offering into left-center, effectively splitting the outfielders and allowing both Wallach and Laird to circle the bases for the 2-1 lead.

That would be all Fugate would need as she retired the Knights down the stretch and closed out the victory for the Sailfish.

PBA will take their momentum from Sunday’s tournament finale into their home opener on Tuesday when they welcome in West Palm Beach county rival Northwood University for a double-header at Howard Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 pm.

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