Nova Southeastern Ends PBA Run at Eckerd College Tournament Championship

Written By: PBA Sports Information Director, Michael Brown

Heather Laird (Pictured) Was the Tough Luck Loser on Sunday Afternoon Against NSU at the Eckerd Tournament. Heather Laird (Pictured) Was the Tough Luck Loser on Sunday Afternoon Against NSU at the Eckerd Tournament.

Box Score

CLEARWATER, Fla.- Matching up for already the fourth time this season, the Palm Beach Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University softball teams once again met on Sunday afternoon with another important game to be played. In another great ballgame, the Sharks handed the Sailfish a tough 1-0 defeat in what would be PBA’s final game at the Eckerd College Tournament.

PBA and NSU met earlier this season in the finale of the BU/NSU Invitational with the Sailfish coming out on top in a similar 1-0 score with that ballgame needing extra innings to be decided.

While technically receiving the loss in the scorebook, Sunday’s start for junior PBA pitcher Heather Laird could be considered a victory. After struggling during her past few outings, including a tough three inning stint against NSU earlier in the week in a regular season double-header, Laird proved on Sunday why the Sailfish believe they can compete consistently with either Laird, Ashley Jones, or Chris Donovan in the pitching circle.

Laird (3-5) allowed just one run to the heavy-hitting Sharks on Sunday with NSU scattering seven hits allowed and one run although it was un-earned. The Venice, Florida native in her second season with the Fish, struck out six batters and walked two.

Laird’s counterpart was Dani Caron (8-1)  who limited the Sailfish to just three hits in seven innings of work while utilizing a solid NSU defense behind her as she had only two strikeouts.

NSU (17-3) got the only run they would need in the fourth inning as Britney Lamb, Patty Rivero, and Noemi Luciani delivered three consecutive singles with one out. Rachel Talenfeld then stepped in a delivered a fly-out to left-field that Becca Bolinger came on to catch who then proceeded to fire toward the direction of home plate. With Lamb content to stay at third-base, the ball popped out of the glove of PBA catcher Erica Walters allowing Lamb to sprint home for the game’s only run.

Caitlin Bouschet, Candace Horton, and Brittany Schneider were the only three PBA players to register hits in the game. No player on either team had an extra base-hit in the contest as Laird and Caron both proved successful at keeping the opposition off balance.

Palm Beach Atlantic returns to the diamond on Tuesday, February 24th when they play host to yet another Sunshine State Conference opponent in Florida Tech. Tuesday’s double-header will be played beginning at 5 p.m. at PBCC with both games of the double-header being called live on the Sailfish Radio Network.

TOURNAMENT NOTES: Nova Southeastern advanced to the EC Tournament Championship where they were defeated 6-0 by Valdosta State University... PBA takes home a 3rd place finish in the tournament after a 4-2 record.

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