WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Scoring two runs in the third inning of game one, Palm Beach Atlantic was able to down Florida Southern 2-0 in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader behind a shutout effort from Ashton Adkins. In the second game, PBA centerfielder Magnolia West starred both offensively and defensively to bring the Sailfish back from a 2-0 deficit and give them a 3-2 win over the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- After each team had one base runner through the first 2½ innings, Palm Beach Atlantic (23-14) pushed two runs across in the bottom of the third for a 2-0 lead. The Sailfish had five hits in the inning, and three of them were bunt singles by Claudia Pizzarelli, West and Maddie Bertisch. The first one by Pizzarelli produced the first run when she stole second and was singled in by Loren Kilgore. The second run scored on a squeeze play that resulted in a hit for West when her bunt was so well placed the Mocs had no chance to get the out at home or at first base.
- Florida Southern's (13-19) best chance to score came in the top of the sixth when Desirae Klumpp was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Shannon Bell followed with a single. Adkins worked around it though by getting a strikeout and two ground balls to leave runners at second and third.
- Adkins pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to finish her third shutout of the season and improve her record to 13-5. She allowed just three hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
- Kristen Beacham surrendered only the two third-inning runs but fell to 5-7 on the season. In three innings of work she gave up six hits, struck out three and did not issue a walk. Hannah Loyer pitched the final three innings, giving up three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- When Beacham struck out the first three batters of the game, it was the first time in her yet-brief career the freshman struck out the side. Brandi Jones has done it four times this season, but only once while facing just three batters, with that happening in the second inning against Lynn on February 24. The last time a Moccasin pitcher started a game with three consecutive strikeouts was in game two last year when Loyer did it against Eckerd during the Eckerd College Invitational.
- Florida Southern catcher Zierra Flodman had her first pickoff of the season when she got Brianna Skipper at first base in the fourth inning. Flodman also had one of the Moccasins' three hits. The others came from Bell and Donna Ryan.
- West and Pizzarelli had two hits apiece for Palm Beach Atlantic. Of the nine hits allowed by Florida Southern pitching, four of them came on bunts and a total of five were infield singles.
- The Sailfish were denied another infield hit in the second inning by the defensive combination of shortstop Makayla Deuberry and first baseman Alex Mace. Deuberry came in to field a bouncing ground ball by Skipper and made an off-balance throw to Mace who made a long stretch from first to get the out.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- Brandi Jones started in the pitcher's circle for the Moccasins in game two and after giving up hits to two of the first three batters she faced, the senior retired five in a row before freshman Kelli Gault came relieved her to start the third inning. Gault kept the Sailfish off the board for the next two innings too, keeping the game scoreless going into the fifth.
- The Moccasins had just one hit and one walk off PBA starting pitcher Nikki Brinegar through the first four innings but used three hits and a walk to score two runs in the top of the fifth. The Mocs loaded the bases with none out on hits by Ryan and Klumpp sandwiched around a walk to Deuberry. Brinegar got a pop-up and a force play at the plate but couldn't get out of the situation completely. A line drive single by Erica Morrissey into centerfield drove in both runs for the Moccasins, putting them on top 2-0.
- Jones re-entered to pitch for Florida Southern in the bottom of the fifth but the Sailfish got to her for two runs to equalize the score. In similar fashion to what the Moccasins did in the top half of the inning, the Sailfish loaded the bases with a pair of hits and a hit batter, bringing West to the plate with one out. The freshman centerfielder delivered a sharply hit single into right that gave the Sailfish their first run. Michaela Hynes then hit a fly ball that was deep enough to bring in the second run, tying the game at 2-2.
- Jones got the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth but an infield hit by Pizzarelli put the winning run on base. Kayla Knight followed with her fourth hit of the game, a triple into the right centerfield gap that knocked Pizzarelli for a 3-2 lead.
- West made sure that lead held up with her glove in the top of the seventh. After Deuberry hit the ball hard but right at Pizzarelli in right, West robbed Klumpp and Bell of hits with back-to-back spectacular catches from her centerfield position. On the first one, West went streaking into the gap in left center to make a diving catch against Klumpp. She then ended the game by making another diving catch in short center, this one against Bell.
- Those two plays, along with the late-inning scoring, made a winner of relief pitcher Jana Wagner who pitched the final 2.1 innings and set down all seven Moccasin batters she faced. Wagner came into the game in the top of the fifth inning immediately after Morrissey's two-run single had given Florida Southern the lead. She replaced Brinegar who gave up two runs on four hits with one strikeout and two walks.
- Jones fell to 3-9 with the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits in 4.0 total innings. She had four strikeouts and no walks. Gault allowed a hit and a walk in her 2.0 innings of work.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- Liz Albertini entered the doubleheader with no hits in six at-bats this season but had pinch-hit singles in both games.
- The triple by Knight was her eighth of the season, a number that leads all of Division II.
- Wagner had a win and a save in the series and pitched a total of 4.2 perfect innings.
- Florida Southern's four hits came from four different players, with Ryan getting one in both ends of the doubleheader.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern returns home to open a three-game Sunshine State Conference series with Florida Tech at the Auburndale Softball Complex with a single game next Friday night at 7 p.m.