Sailfish Make it a Championship Series With Victory Over Olivet Nazarene University

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team continued their torrid stretch through the loser’s bracket of the NCCAA Softball Championships with their fourth consecutive victory, this time over previously undefeated Olivet Nazarene University to force a decisive extra game to conclude the tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Battling with the Tigers throughout, PBA rode the solid pitching of sophomore Ashley Jones all the way to their 4-1 victory. Working in and out of trouble for most of the contest, Jones utilized some timely strikeouts along with the solid play of her defense which made a number of game-saving catches.

Jones line finished out to be seven innings, nine hits allowed, one earned run while striking out six batters and walking none.

Left-hander Kellie Koverman was the ONU counterpart for Jones as she finished by giving up seven hits and four earned runs while striking out one and walking one.

Caitlin Bouschet turned out to be the star offensively for PBA in the game as she totaled an afternoon at the plate of 2-for-3 with a double, triple, and three runs batted in.

The Sailfish got on the board with a single run in the second inning as Bouschet led off with a double to right-centerfield before a Cheryl Stephens sacrifice bunt moved Bouschet up to third base with one out. Senior Holly Elliott would then follow with an RBI single and give the Fish the lead.

With Jones keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard in the early going, the Sailfish offense went back to work in the third inning as leadoff hitter Rebecca Bolinger got things started with a solid single up the middle. Once again utilizing the small ball approach, senior Casey Gibson came through with a sacrifice bunt that moved Bolinger up another base.

A hard single off the foot of the ONU pitcher left Chelsea Gravini on first-base and Bolinger crossing the plate to aide the overall lead. Gravini came around to score on a long triple from Bouschet while Stephens lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Bouschet for the fourth run of the game for PBA.

Staked to a 4-0 lead, Jones would be only touched for one run down the stretch as Kim Murray led off with a fifth inning triple and later came around to score on an RBI single from Marcia Grimes. Grimes finished the game 3-for-4.

Now winners of four in a row, the Sailfish would need to beat ONU a second time in order to claim the NCCAA National Title, quite the feat considering they were defeated in their opening round game, thus forcing themselves to working their way back into tournament contention through the loser’s bracket.

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