Ashley Jones Tosses No-Hitter as Sailfish Earn NCCAA Nationals Opening Win
May 7, 2009
Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- Anyone associated with the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team knows it hasn’t exactly been a great way to end the regular season the past few weeks with six straight losses. However, that momentum all changed on Thursday evening as the Sailfish opened up play at the NCCAA National Championship Tournament with an impressive 2-0 victory over Indiana Wesleyan University behind a no-hit performance from junior Ashley Jones.
Tying her career-high of 15 strikeouts which is also a PBA record, Jones was dominant from the start with her only blemish being a sixth inning error made in the field. Jones was nothing short of spectacular otherwise as she struck out nine in a row at one point while reaching the mile-stone accomplishment. The no-hitter was the first of Jones’ career in a Sailfish uniform.
Backing Jones on the offensive side were two runs that would certainly hold up for the #2-seeded Sailfish. Candace Horton put together one of the best at-bats of the season as she drilled a RBI single to left-field in the third inning to plate senior Becca Bolinger after a long at-bat that featured a number of tough pitches fouled off by Horton.
PBA added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Bolinger laid down a beautiful squeeze bunt that allowed Caitlin Bouschet to sprint home to give the Fish a 2-0 lead.
Bolinger finished 2-for-3 on the day with a run scored and the RBI. The run Bolinger scored in the third inning now ties her in the PBA softball record book for runs scored in a career with former Sailfish Kim Gant. Horton, Dani Perrotti, and Abbey Shipman all registered one hit each. Bouschet walked twice in three plate appearances.
Abbie Forman was Jones opposition in the IWU pitching circle and despite a solid outing the freshman right-hander took the loss. Forman allowed five hits and two earned runs over six innings while walking three and striking out four batters.
The Sailfish will now turn their attention to Friday’s scheduled semi-finals matchup with #1-seed Central Baptist College. CBS breezed through their first game with a 8-0 win over #4-seed Spring Arbor University. Game time between CBC and Palm Beach Atlantic is scheduled for 6 pm. The game can be heard live on the Sailfish Radio Network with pre-game coverage starting at 5:45 pm.