WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic softball team finished their series with the Nova Southeastern University Sharks Friday afternoon, sweeping the doubleheader to sweep all three games of the series. The ‘Fish took the opener 9-2 and the finale 2-0.
All three pitchers for the ‘Fish saw action on the day, with Nikki Brinegar starting the first game and picking up a win while picking up her first save of the year in the finale. Jana Wagner pitched two outstanding innings in the opener, and Ashton Adkins picked up her 16th win of the year in the finale.
Kayla Knight finished the day 4-for-5 at the plate, scoring three runs on the day. The senior picked up her nation-leading 11th triple on the year, extending her all-time PBA record to 21 in her career. With her four-hit day, Knight now has 199 hits for her career, 10 shy of the all-time PBA record of 209, set by Mari Stokes (2009-2012)
Freshman Magnolia West finished 3-for-6 on the day, scoring twice and driving in a run. With her three hits, West now sits at 66 hits on the season, five hits shy of the PBA single-season record of 71, set by Vanessa Cacchioli back in 2004.
The Sailfish return to action next weekend at Simpson Field as they welcome the nationally-ranked Saint Leo Lions for a three-game set. Game one is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, with games two and three scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
GAME ONE: PBA 9, NSU 2
The Sailfish wasted no time in the opener, taking a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Following Knight’s leadoff triple, Alexis Guerra singled in the infield scoring Knight. Maddie Bertisch later drove in Guerra on a fielder’s choice as Guerra just beat the throw at the plate. The third run of the inning came on a first-and-third steal attempt by Bertisch, with a throwing error by the catcher allowing West to score from third.
After the Sharks scored twice in the top of the fourth, the ‘Fish responded with five runs of their own in the fourth to jump back ahead 8-2. The Sailfish scored their five runs in four hits and two NSU errors.
With runners on second and third, Michaela Hynes singled to left, scoring Guerra and Knight. After Hynes advanced to second, Bertisch singled to the third baseman, but a late and wild throw from the third baseman allowed Hynes to score the third run of the inning. Back-to-back doubles from Loren Kilgore and Maddie Biggs added two more runs on the inning, blowing the game wide open.
Bertisch scored her second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after reaching on a fielder’s choice and scoring on a Brianna Skipper RBI single.
Brinergar picked up her eighth win of the year as the southpaw tossed five innings, allowing just two runs and striking out five. Wagner came out of the bullpen to pitch a spotless final two innings to shut the door on the Sharks in the middle game of the series.
GAME TWO: PBA 2, NSU 0
The Sailfish picked up just four hits in the finale, but they were all that were needed as Adkins and Brinegar shutout the Sharks offense.
The Sailfish scored their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning and got things started with Knight reaching first via a hit by pitch. Knight came in to score the first run of the inning as West doubled to center. West came in to score a few batters later, as Kilgore singled up the middle.
Knight and West both singled in the bottom of the second inning but were not brought around to score, and the Sailfish offense was held without a hit for the remainder of the game.
Adkins tossed six scoreless innings in the finale and struck out a pair en route to her 16th win of the year.
Brinegar picked up her first save on the year, her second overall in her career as she tossed a shutout seventh inning, striking out one of the batters she faced.