'Fish Sweep West Liberty, Make It 14 Wins In A Row

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Photo courtesy of Ron HilliardPhoto courtesy of Ron Hilliard

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic softball team won their thirteenth and fourteenth consecutive games Monday afternoon, as the Sailfish defeated West Liberty University in both games of a doubleheader. The ‘Fish took game one 8-3, and the second game 12-4 in five innings.

Game One PBA 8 WLU 3
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth in game one when pitcher Julie Tenney singled home her battery mate Damia Mogielski.

The Hilltoppers run woke up the Sailfish bats, as the ‘Fish eight runs over the next three innings. The Sailfish put up a five spot in the bottom of the fourth to jump ahead 5-1.

Devin Williams got the fourth inning going with a double to left centerfield. Theresa Butler reached base courtesy of a Hilltoppers error that allowed Williams to advance. After a Butler stolen base and two runners in scoring position, Brianna Rano would single home Williams to tie up the game. Kayla Knight would follow suit, driving home Williams to give the ‘Fish a 2-1 advantage. Following a Maddie Bertisch single that would load the bases, Victoria Gonzalez crushed a double to the deepest part of the ballpark in centerfield, emptying the bases and putting the Sailfish out in front 5-1.

Rano drove in Williams in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Sailfish lead to 6-1, but the Hilltoppers responded with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth to bring them within striking distance, 6-3.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Ali French sparked a rally with a single to center field. After French lifted for a pinch runner Kimmy McIntosh, McIntosh stole second base, and scored the next play when Olivia Silver reached on an error by the Hilltoppers’ third baseman. Silver stole second base the first pitch of the at bat, and scored from second courtesy of a Williams single, putting the ‘Fish out in front by a final score of 8-3.

Rachel Hill (Win, 6-4) pitched five innings and struck out three without walking a batter. Amber Johnson picked up her fourth save on the season, which ties the PBA single season record Johnson holds twice. (2014, 2015)

Game Two PBA 12 WLU 4
The ‘Fish wasted no time in the second game, scoring a quick four runs in the first. Knight led off with an infield single, stole second base, and advanced to third on Bertisch’s bunt single. After Bertisch stole second base and Loren Kilgore walked, Gonzalez walked in Knight, and Nikki Brinegar came in to pinch run for Gonzalez. A wild pitch to French allowed Bertisch to score, putting the ‘Fish up 2-0. Williams reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Kilgore, and Butler walked to score Brinegar, putting the ‘Fish out in front 4-0 after an inning of play.

West Liberty responded with three runs of their own in the top of the second, then the ‘Fish answered right back in the bottom half of the second. With two runners on, Kilgore ripped a ball past the Hilltoppers third baseman that took a bizarre hop off the lip of the infield that managed to reach the wall, bringing in both runners and allowing Kilgore to reach third with a triple. A few pitches later Kilgore scored on a wild pitch, putting the ‘Fish ahead 7-3.

The Sailfish added to their lead in the bottom of the third as Kilgore stepped to the plate with Rano on third and Knight on second. A passed ball allowed Rano to score and advanced Knight to second before Kilgore drove in Knight with a single up the middle, giving the ‘Fish a 9-3 lead.

Bertisch put the nail in the coffin in the bottom of the fourth as the Freshman ripped a 3RBI triple to left centerfield, scoring Victoria Boyer, Williams and Silver. West Liberty was able to salvage one more run in the top of the fifth, but the mercy rule came into effect after four and a half innings go play as the ‘Fish won game two 12-4.

Johnson (Win, 6-0) pitched the final three innings in relief, allowing just one earned run on three hits and striking out four.

The Sailfish return to Simpson Field Friday, March 11 for the first game of a weekend series against Sunshine State Conference foe Florida Tech. First pitch between the Sailfish and Panthers is schedule for 7 p.m., with games two and three of the series schedule for Saturday the 12th, scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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