Sailfish Squeak Out Game One Victory Over Eckerd College in Softball

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Mari Stokes (Pictured, #1) is Given Congrats By Teamates as She Delivered Her First Collegiate Homerun on Saturday Afternoon at Howard Park Against Eckerd College. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Mari Stokes (Pictured, #1) is Given Congrats By Teamates as She Delivered Her First Collegiate Homerun on Saturday Afternoon at Howard Park Against Eckerd College. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- With the Sailfish comfortably in control with a 4-0 lead entering the final inning, the Eckerd College softball team decided to make it interesting as catcher Aleena Oimoen blasted a three-run homerun to get the visiting Tritons within one run in the opener of Saturday’s double-header. In the end however, Sailfish hurler Heather Laird would hold on and so would the Fish as they came out on top 4-3.

Laird (3-2) proved dominant at times on Saturday as she mowed down 10 Tritons hitters by strikeout and had a shutout rolling into the final inning. After Oimeon’s homerun, her second in as many days after homering and leading the Tritons to a pair of victories yesterday against Northwood University, Laird would settle down and retire Mackenzie Dawson for her tenth strikeout of the day to close the door.

After two innings left both teams scoreless, the Sailfish broke out for three runs in the bottom of the third inning as Mari Stokes got things started with a one-out double. After Stokes hit came another double, this time from senior Becca Bolinger who moved Stokes up to third. Freshman Erica Walters, having been moved up in the lineup to the third slot, subsequently delivered a RBI on a fielders choice that scored Stokes.

Up next stepped Caitlin Bouschet who lined a hard RBI single that brought home Bolinger. After a Tritons pitching change that ended the day for starter Christina Hughes, Abbey Shipman came through with an RBI sacrifice fly to cap the scoring in the inning.

Things would remain scoreless for both teams until the bottom of the sixth as Stokes came through with her first collegiate homerun that sailed well beyond the left-centerfield fence. A standout during her time at C.L.W. Centennial High School, Stokes continues to thrive as the Sailfish leadoff hitter. She finished her day 3-for-4 with a single, double, and homerun.

That big fly from Stokes proved even more important than originally thought as it proved to be the winning run after Oimeon’s three-run homerun for EC in the seventh.

Hughes took the loss for Eckerd as they were handed their first loss of the season in game one.

Beyond Stokes three-hit performance was Bolinger and Bouschet with two hits apiece while the Fish collected nine hits total.

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