PBA Hands Saint Leo Softball First Loss of the Season

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- For the second consecutive day, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team handed an opponent their first defeat of the season as the Sailfish defeated Saint Leo University 2-1 in their second game of the Eckerd College Spring Invitational. The Fish fell to Midwestern State University 9-5 earlier in the day.

Still searching for a true identity as a team, PBA followed up their defeat of #4-ranked Florida Southern on Thursday evening in the second game of a double-header with their victory over Saint Leo (7-1) on Friday evening.

Sophomore Ashley Jones (Jensen Beach, Fla.) earned the starting nod versus Saint Leo and responded with yet another impressive performance. Now 3-1 on the season, Jones registered the complete game effort by scattering nine hits and only one earned run while working in and out of trouble throughout the contest.

Freshman right-fielder Meaghan Ireland (Galloway, N.J.) drew a leadoff walk in the second inning to start the first scoring rally of the afternoon for PBA. After a Sarah Bronson (Cape Coral, Fla.) sacrifice moved Ireland into scoring position, catcher Candace Horton (Orlando, Fla.) smashed a run-scoring double into the right-centerfield gap that sent Ireland around to score the game’s first run.

With Jones still putting up zero’s on the scoreboard, the third inning would give the Sailfish another scoring opportunity. This time the Saint Leo defense would help aide the Sailfish cause.

With PBA center-fielder Casey Gibson running hard down the first-base line, the SLU third-baseman’s throw sailed past the first-baseman allowing Gibson to reach third-base with nobody out. She would quickly score a few pitches later as a passed ball allowed Gibson to race home for a 2-0 PBA lead.

The Lions would have their chances against Jones however as the previously undefeated team put together a number of big innings only to find themselves falling just short on many occasions. SLU cut the PBA lead in half with a Tatiana Casis solo homerun but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.

Junior Ashley Urbanik took the loss for SLU as the right-hander held PBA to only three hits while walking six batters and striking out eight. Jones struck out four batters and walked none in her seven innings of work.

The Sailfish return to action tomorrow afternoon as they will continue with play in the Eckerd College Spring Invitational.

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