Sailfish Fall 5-4 to Mars Hill in Extras

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Starting pitcher Jana Wagner pitched four solid innings Sunday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardStarting pitcher Jana Wagner pitched four solid innings Sunday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Ron Hilliard

Box Score

MELBOURNE, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic softball team(1-2) finished up the Florida Tech/Marriott Kickoff Classic Sunday afternoon losing 5-4 to Mars Hill University in extra innings.

The Sailfish threatened in the first inning as leadoff batter Maddie Bertisch reached on an error, eventually making her way to third base thanks to a sacrifice bunt and steal, but was tagged out at the plate attempting to steal home on a passed ball.

After the Lions got on the board in the first, the ‘Fish put up a three-spot in the top of the third. The inning got started as Theresa Butler drew a walk, followed by an infield single from Karina Langer. Maddie Bertisch followed Langer with a bunt base hit to load the bases for Gonzo, and Victoria Gonzalez drove in Butler four pitches later singling to right field. Bertisch later scored when S.J. Collier was hit by a pitch, and Gonzalez came across the plate as Shelby Wood put down a sacrifice bunt.

Mars Hill cut their deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, as the Lions got a runner on base via a PBA error, stole second, stole third, and scored on a single. The Lions tied things up two innings later when third baseman Ellen Tillman drilled a home run to right center field.

With the game being part of the Florida Tech/Marriott Kickoff Classic, extra innings meant the Texas Tie-Breaker, and in the eighth inning, the ‘Fish started off with S.J. Collier on second base. A ground out to second base by Shelby Wood advanced Collier to third, and she would score on a wild pitch the very next pitch. Giving the Sailfish a 4-3 advantage.

The Lions tied the game back up in the bottom of the eighth when their free-runner scored as they moved her to third on a ground out, and brought her in the next batter courtesy of a Sailfish error. Nikki Brinegar retired the next two batters to send the game to the ninth.

The Sailfish were unable to capitalize their free-runner in the top of the ninth, and eventually lost in the bottom of the ninth as the Lions were able to move their free-runner Kayleigh Jonas to third on a sacrifice bunt, before scoring on a wild pitch.

Jana Wagner (0-0) started in the circle for the blue and white, pitching four innings, allowing just four hits, two runs (both earned) and striking out one batter.

Wagner was relieved by Amber Johnson (0-0) in the bottom of the fifth and Johnson pitched two and a third innings, allowing three hits, striking out a batter, and allowing one earned run, the home run in the sixth.

Maddie Bertisch and Victoria Gonzalez combined for four of the six Sailfish hits on the afternoon, each scoring a run, with Gonzalez driving in a run.

Nikki Brinegar (L,1-1) finished things out in the circle for the ‘Fish, recording six outs. The junior was tagged with the loss, despite not allowing a hit or giving up an earned run.

The Sailfish return to action Friday, February 5, in Clearwater, Fla. as they take on Shorter University and Barry University in a doubleheader in day one of the Eckerd College Tournament. Their first game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch.

The Sailfish make their 2016 Simpson Field Opener Friday, February 12, at 7 p.m. as they host Armstrong Atlantic State University in the first day of the Sailfish Showdown.

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