Saint Leo University Slams PBA in Game Two of the Eckerd College Tournament

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Box Score

CLEARWATER, Fla.- After a long and hard-fought battle with tenth-ranked University of Tampa in game one of the Eckerd College Tournament earlier on Friday, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team was scheduled to take on another nationally-ranked Sunshine State Conference opponent in #16-ranked Saint Leo University.

After a solid three-run first-inning staked the Sailfish (10-6) to an early lead, it would be the Lady Lions of Saint Leo University (6-5) who would come out firing as they punished the Sailfish with 11 un-answered runs and came away with an 11-3 victory in four plus innings.

PBA scored three runs in the first-inning off of starter Kristen Kelly and actually out-hit the Lions 11-9 in the ballgame. The big difference came in the type of hits as SLU slugged seven extra base-hits compared to that of just one for the Fish.

Mari Stokes got things started for the Fish in the ballgame with a leadoff single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt from Becca Bolinger. After Stokes stole third-base, she would come around to score on a bad-throw from the SLU catcher. Chelsea Gravini then came through with a double followed by an infield single from Caitlin Bouschet. Up next would be back-to-back RBI singles from Dani Perrotti and Abbey Shipman to give the Blue and White an early lead.

Saint Leo proved why they deserve their high preseason national ranking however as they posted a singe run in the second inning followed by eight more in the third inning.

PBA junior right-hander Heather Laird earned the start and lasted three innings while allowing six hits and nine runs (six earned) while walking three and striking out one. Freshman Chris Donovan closed out the game for PBA with one inning of work while allowing three hits and two runs.

SLU finished out the game with a pair of runs in the fifth inning to enforce the eight-run mercy rule.

Stokes and Bolinger continued their torrid pace of late from the top of the order as both collected a pair of hits in three at-bats. Candace Horton also continued her good work from earlier in the day with two more hits in three at-bats.

PBA will be back in action on Saturday as they take part in day two of the Eckerd College Tournament beginning with a 9 a.m. game versus Flagler College and then an 11:30 a.m. scheduled battle with Florida Tech.

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