Palm Beach Atlantic Softball Drops NCCAA National Championship Opener

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Sophomore Ashley Jones Went the Distance Yet PBA fell 2-0 in their NCCAA National Tournament OpenerSophomore Ashley Jones Went the Distance Yet PBA fell 2-0 in their NCCAA National Tournament Opener

Box Score

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- While still equipped with a strong team, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team did not get off to the start they hoped in the NCCAA Softball Championships as they were upset 2-0 on Thursday afternoon by Judson University.

Seeded at number six against a number seven seed in Judson, the Sailfish never could quite get the bats going as their rust from a fifteen day layoff showed each inning as Eagles hurler Lizzy Jacobsen went the distance in a six-hit shutout while walking just one batter and striking out three.

Head coach Kimmy Bloemers countered with her ace in the pitching circle, Jensen Beach, Florida native Ashley Jones who posted zero’s other than a two-run outburst by Judson in the fourth inning that proved to be the game-winner. Coming in with an ERA under one run a game, Jones fanned eight batters while walking one and allowing just one earned run.

Offensively PBA out-hit the Eagles by a six to five count although a few base-running blunders by the Fish cut short their run-scoring opportunities.

Senior Casey Gibson put forth a solid effort for the Fish as she finished the opening game 2-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases. No other Sailfish player recorded more than one hit.

Judson shortstop Nicole Dimiceli go the rally started for the Eagles as she led off the fourth inning with a long triple that nearly left the spacious Lake Catherine Complex, setting up the rest of the Judson attack. Jacobsen followed with a solid single to left to get the Eagles on the board.

After a hit-by-pitch added another base-runner, JU designated-hitter Rachel Pope hit a solid single to left-field that was easily fielded by the PBA outfielder but upon the relay back to the infield was overthrown allowing the second run to come home.

That would be all Jacobsen would need from the Judson pitching circle as she escaped any damage the rest of the way.

Judson went on to defeat their second opponent of the day in another upset as they took down number one seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene University 3-2.

The Fish will look to rebound through the loser’s bracket tomorrow afternoon when they take on Midwest Region Champion Spring Arbor University at 2 pm.

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