Sailfish Down #4-Ranked Moccasins in Game Two Thriller

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

LAKELAND, Fla.- Taking on a team who hadn’t allowed a single run yet this season, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team rebounded from a heart-breaking 1-0 loss in 10 innings in game one to Florida Southern College by defeating the #4-ranked Moccasins in impressive fashion in the night-cap by a final score of 3-2.

After dropping a tough game in extra innings to an undefeated and top-ranked team like Florida Southern, it would have been easy for the Sailfish to be discouraged and roll over for their second game. That wouldn’t be the case on Thursday evening as PBA jumped out for two first inning runs and gave senior Andrea Fugate (Lake Wales, Fla.) just enough support to earn an impressive split with FSC.

A senior right-hander, Fugate dazzled for the Fish in the nightcap as she allowed only two earned runs and six hits to the high-powered Mocs while accumulating six strikeouts in the circle for head coach Kimmy Bloemers.

Fellow senior Casey Gibson (Cape Coral, Fla.) did a solid job from the leadoff spot in game two as the slick-fielding centerfielder did damage with the bat, registering a 3-for-4 performance while scoring a run. Freshman Abbey Shipman (Orlando, Fla.) responded from a move up in the lineup to the third spot with two hits in four at-bats while driving in two runs.

PBA got things started in the first inning by giving Fugate a nice cushion of two runs before she ever entered the pitching circle.

Freshman speedster Katie Medder (Miami, Fla.) drew a one-out walk and quickly stole her sixth base of the season to get the Fish a runner in scoring position. Shipman would then follow with a single down the right-field line which scored Medder while a Mocs throwing error allowed Shipman to advance to second-base. First-baseman Cheryl Stephens (Canton, Ga.) would come through for the second run as she drilled an RBI-single that allowed Shipman to cross the plate just ahead of the throw.

Fugate wouldn’t run into any serious trouble into the third inning as FSC cut the Sailfish lead in half. A leadoff double by infielder Sara Lovestrand got the rally started for the Mocs and she would come home to score on the next play as Michelle Tatlock delivered a run-scoring single.

2-1 entering the seventh and final inning with the Fish still clinging to a one run advantage, PBA would push across an insurance run as a two-out rally would be started by Gibson. After Gibson singled, Medder followed with a bunt single putting the Fish back in business. Shipman then delivered again, coming up with a big, two-out single that sent Gibson racing home.

FSC wouldn’t go down without a fight however as they cut the lead to one run in their half of the seventh when pinch-hitter Heidi Grondhal led off with a walk before coming home to score on a RBI double from Lindsey Powell.

With Powell in scoring position and two outs and the Fish nursing the one run lead, Fugate came through on her final hitter as Medder hauled in a fly-out in foul territory to end the long day of softball.

Lovestrand paced the Moccasins offensive attack with two hits in four trips to the plate while Heidi Schumacher, while impressive, took the first loss of the season for FSC after allowing nine hits and three runs and striking out seven.

PBA continues their busy weekend slate by participating in the Eckerd College Tournament in St. Petersburg, Florida beginning on Friday, February 22nd. The Sailfish will play two games Friday and two games Saturday while Sunday’s schedule will dependent on the outcomes of early tournament action.

Stay tuned to the PBA athletics website for full game recaps on the Sailfish tournament action at Eckerd.

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