Sailfish Sweep Kentucky State in Midweek Matinee

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish (5-7) swept Kentucky State Thursday afternoon, winning game one 2-1 in extras, and game two 7-4. Freshman Lauren McInnes led the way with four hits on the afternoon, including the game-winning hit in the ninth inning in game one.

Game One: PBA 2, KSU 1 (9 innings)

Game one was a low scoring affair, with neither team cracking the scoreboard until the seventh inning. Rachel Hill (Win, 1-4) was stellar in the circle for the Sailfish, as the senior pitched 9 complete, only allowing four hits on the day and striking out 11. Hill retired the first nine batters she faced on the day, and retired the side on six separate occasions.

The Throrobrettes struck first in the top of the seventh, scoring an unearned run on a sac fly to left.

Staring defeat in the eye, the Sailfish put on their rally masks and got to work. Brianna Skipper got the inning started getting hit by a pitch. The junior was pinch ran for by Kimmi McIntosh, who stole second on the first pitch. With two outs, Maddie Bertisch singled home McIntosh to tie the game up at one a piece.

Both teams were retired in order in the 8th, and the Throrobrettes got two hits in the ninth, but Hill stranded the bases loaded. Brianna Rano got the bottom of the ninth started reaching on an error by the pitcher. Brianna Skipper attempted to sacrifice Rano over, but second consecutive error allowed Skipper to reach first and Rano to advance to third. With one on and runners on second and third, Lauren McInnes drove an 0-2 pitch up the middle to score Rano and win the ballgame for the Sailfish 2-1.

Game Two PBA 7, KSU 4

Game two was the exact opposite of a pitchers duel, with the Sailfish jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Maddie Bertisch got things going with an infield single, followed by a stolen base. After advancing to third on a Kayla Knight single, Bertisch later scored on a Theresa Butler ground out. The groundout was followed by Loren Kilgore reaching base on an error by the second baseman that allowed Knight to score to give the ‘Fish a 2-0 lead.

Kentucky State would quickly rebuttal as the Throrobrettes cut the deficit in half in the top of the second inning. Lauren McInnes got the offense going shortly in the bottom of the second inning, doubling to left center field. McIness scored eight pitches later as Devin Williams singled to shortstop, but a throwing error allowed each runner to advance an extra base, giving the ‘Fish a 3-1 advantage.

The Throrobrettes bounced back quickly, and the green and gold responded with three runs of their own, courtesy of two hits and one Sailfish error, giving Kentucky State a 4-3 lead, and knocking Sailfish starting pitcher Nikki Brinegar from the game.

The Sailfish would regain the lead in their half of the third inning, and refused to give up the lead for the remainder of the ballgame. Loren Kilgore started off the bottom of the third with a four-pitch walk. With Kimmi McIntosh pinch running for Kilgore, McIntosh stole second base, setting herself up in scoring position. Victoria Gonzalez jumped on the first pitch she saw driving it to left center field, one hopping the wall and tying the ballgame at four. Gonzalez would score the following at bat, as Brianna Rano reached again courtesy of an error, this time by the Kentucky State pitcher. The throw went over the first baseman’s head and down the right field fence, allowing Rano to reach all the way to third base. Lauren McInnes picked up her second RBI on the afternoon as she drove in Rano on a sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Sailfish a 6-4 advantage.

The Sailfish would score their final run of the afternoon in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of a Victoria Gonzalez single that drove in Kayla Knight, giving the Sailfish the 7-4 lead. Knight reached via a hit-by-pitch to lead off the inning, and get herself to third base via stealing second base and advancing to third on a fly-out.

The Throrobrettes would only muster up one hit over the final 4.1 innings, as Jana Wagner (Win,1-1) was lights out in relief. The sophomore picked up five strike outs on the day, retiring 13 of the 14 batters she faced.

The Sailfish return to action Wednesday, Feb. 24 as they host Dominican College (NY) for a double header at Simpson Field, with game one scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

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