PBA's Run Comes to an End One Game Short as Olivet Nazarene Claims 2008 NCCAA Title
April 26, 2008
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- Despite an unbelievable effort, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team’s run to the NCCAA National Championship game came to an end on late Saturday afternoon as they were unable to defeat Olivet Nazarene University in back-to-back games as ONU claimed the title game with a 6-3 victory over the Sailfish.
Up against the four-time NCCAA Player of the Year in ONU right-hander Lauren Chessum, PBA kept things close throughout but were unable to take down the Tigers. Chessum closed out her NCCAA career with seven strong innings of work including allowing eight hits, three earned runs while striking out eight.
Back for the second consecutive game against the Tigers, PBA once again turned to the pitching services of Ashley Jones as she paired up in what could be considered the top two pitchers in the NCCAA this season.
Obviously tired from the three-day tournament, Jones took the tough-luck loss by allowing 11 hits and six earned runs in the title game while striking out six and walking four batters.
Perhaps one of the fastest players in the nation let alone the NCCAA, centerfielder and ONU leadoff hitter Marcia Grimes continued to give Jones fits as the collected three more hits while also drawing a pair of walks.
While Grimes provided the speed and on-base percentage, ONU senior Erin Meyerhoff provided the big hits as the slugging first-baseman cranked a long three-run homerun in the first inning to stake Chessum to an early advantage. Meyerhoff finished the contest 3-for-4 with four runs batted in as she later added in another run-scoring hit later in the game.
Down but now out after the first inning, Palm Beach Atlantic got back into contention with two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth inning.
A double from senior Holly Elliott got things moving in the right direction in the fifth as she later came around to score on a double-steal with teammate Katie Medder. After a Medder stolen base put another runner into scoring position, junior Rebecca Bolinger delivered a RBI single through the right side to cut the Tiger’s lead to 4-2.
Third-baseman Danielle Perrotti provided the big hit an inning later as her single sent Caitlin Bouschet racing for home cutting the lead to just one.
The deficit would be short-lived however for the Fish as ONU added on two insurance runs in their half of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach.
Elliott finished out her collegiate career in fine fashion with a 2-for-3 showing including a run scored while Medder was the only other Sailfish to tally multiple hits as she finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base.
PBA ends their season with an impressive final record of 33-24 after winning just eight games two years ago in what is quickly becoming a formidable program not only in the state of Florida but from a regional and national standpoint.
Stay tuned to www.pbasailfish.com in the coming days for a complete season recap for the 2008 season for the Sailfish softball team.