Jones Comes Through Again as PBA Up End the Sharks at Home

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Winning their fourth contest in a row, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team came away with an important two-game sweep of Nova Southeastern University on Saturday afternoon at Howard Park. Behind the strong pitching of sophomore Ashley Jones, PBA took down the Sharks 7-1 in game one followed up by a come from behind 5-4 victory in game two.

Game two would feature the pitching debut for PBA freshman Meaghan Ireland (Galloway, N.J.) and while the right-hander didn’t earn the victory she did provide head coach Kimmy Bloemers with proof that she could be a potentially effective option inside the pitching circle.

After 3 1/3 innings of work, Ireland would be pulled for Jones who would be looking for two wins in the same day as PBA faced an early deficit to the Sharks.

NSU got on the board with a run in the second inning as second-baseman Dana Bergner got things started with a one-out single followed closely by a sharp RBI double from right-fielder Brittany Phillips.

The visiting Sharks added on two more runs the following inning to push their lead to 3-0 when pitcher Ashley Baker drilled a long-homerun over the left-field stands putting the Fish in an early hole.

After failing to get a baserunner the first three-innings, PBA exploded for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to temporarily tie the game and swing the momentum back in the direction of the Fish.

The big inning started with centerfielder Casey Gibson (Cape Coral, Fla.) quickly beating out an infield single and then advancing into scoring position on a wild pitch. After freshman Katie Medder (Miami, Fla.) was retired on a foul-out, catcher Candace Horton (Orlando, Fla.) followed up with a single putting runners on the corners.

In somewhat odd fashion, Gibson would come around to score the first PBA run as Horton was caught in a run-down between first and second that resulted in a NSU error and both Sailfish runners being safe. Another Cheryl Stephens (Canton, Ga.) double split the Sharks outfielders allowing Horton to come around and score and put the Fish within one.

Freshman Abbey Shipman (Orlando, Fla.) would next step into the box and match Stephen’s double with one of her own, effectively tying the game and leaving the Sharks in disgust as the game was now tied.

NSU would follow in the top-half of the fifth inning with a run of their own giving them hope of a split in the series.

That wouldn’t happen on this day however as the Fish pushed across two more runs in their half of the sixth inning and take the victory.

A leadoff single for Medder started the rally which was followed up by the speedy Westminster Christian product stealing both second and third-base. Medder would come into score easily on Stephen’s fourth double of the afternoon with one out in the inning and the Fish would score the fifth and deciding run on a fielder’s choice from Ashley Jones which saw Holly Elliott (Orlando, Fla.) beat NSU second-baseman Dana Bergner’s throw to the plate.

Jones earned her second victory of the day by tallying the final 3 2/3 innings in relief, allowing only one hit and one earned run while walking only one batter.

Now 7-7 on the season and winners of their last four after sweeping both Eckerd College and Nova Southeastern University, PBA will now take the next few days off and prepare for a February 21st showdown with Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. The double-header of action is scheduled for a first-pitch of 5 pm.

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