COLUMBIA, Ga.- The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish continued their spring break trip through The Peach State Wednesday afternoon with a stop in Columbus for a doubleheader with Columbus State. After being held to just three runs on Monday night, the Sailfish (13-10) got their bats going early and kept them alive all day as they slugged 19 hits on the day, scoring 15 runs in the split.
The Sailfish defeated the Cougars (12-12-1) 11-2 in the opener before falling 7-4 in the finale.
The Blue and White have a quick turnaround as they head to Americus, Ga. tomorrow afternoon, March 9 to take on Georgia Southwestern in a doubleheader starting at noon.
Game One: Palm Beach Atlantic 11, Columbus State 2 (5 inn.)
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning on a Columbus State leadoff home run, The Sailfish responded with 11 unanswered runs of their own. Scoring five in the second, and then two in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
Magnolia West’s two-run homer was the icing on the cake during the five-run second inning for the Sailfish. Shelby Wood and Maddie Biggs each delivered RBI singles got the inning started and put the Sailfish up 2-1. Maddie Bertisch later reached on an infield error by the Cougars shortstop allowing Biggs to come into score the third run of the inning, before West blasted her homer to left, putting the ‘Fish up 5-1.
Wood and Biggs did it again the top of the third, as Wood doubled home Alexis Guerra with two away, and Wood came in to score herself as Biggs singled up the middle to put the Sailfish out in front 7-1.
Kayla Knight broke a PBA record in the top of the fourth inning as her RBI triple down the right field line moved her to No. 1 in program history with 16 career triples. Knight later scored her 100th career run on a sacrifice bunt by Guerra, putting the Sailfish up 9-1 over the Cougars.
The final two Sailfish runs of the opening game came in the top of the fifth inning as Loren Kilgore connected on a pinch-hit home run, her first of the season, to put the Sailfish up 11-1.
The cougars got one run back in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it was too little, too late.
Ashton Adkins (W, 9-2) pitched three innings in the circle, only allowing one earned run and two hits. Nikki Brinegar worked the two final innings in relief for Palm Beach Atlantic, helping secure the victory.
Game Two: Palm Beach Atlantic 4, Columbus State 7
The Sailfish jumped out ahead early in game two as Knight delivered a single up the middle driving in West in the top of the first inning, but the 1-0 Sailfish lead would not hold for long as the Cougars responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
Down 2-1 in the top of the second inning, freshman Hannah Carlton came through with a one-out, two-RBI double to right field, scoring Wood and Brianna Skipper, putting the Sailfish back on top 3-2.
After the Cougars tied the ballgame in the bottom of the second and took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third, the Sailfish stranded the bases loaded in the top of the fourth. With momentum in their favor, Columbus State struck for three runs on five hits and a Sailfish error in the bottom of the fourth inning to jump out ahead 7-3.
Trailing 7-3 with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Knight came up with a single of her own to make it 7-4, but the following Sailfish batter fouled out to the catcher stranding the tying run on base.
The Sailfish had plenty of opportunities in game two to produce more runs but failed to do so as they stranded a combined 12 runners on base all seven innings.
All three Sailfish pitchers saw work in the circle in game two with Brinegar getting the loss to bring her to 3-5 on the year. Brinegar and Jana Wagner each picked up a pair of strikeouts in the finale, with Wagner working two shutout innings.