WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Palm Beach Atlantic scored three times in the first inning and added another run in the second to take early control of the game as the Sailfish went on to a 7-1 win over Florida Southern in the opener of their three-game series.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Sailfish (24-19, 12-10 Sunshine State Conference) managed to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning even with only two balls hit out of the infield, and one of those was a fly out to short center. A leadoff walk and infield single on a high bouncer started the inning and a ground out moved both of those runners into scoring position. Taylor Pennica then hit a ground ball deep in the hole that was fielded by Makayla Deuberry, and with no play at any base, Pennica had another infield single and the first run crossed the plate. An RBI bunt single by Maddie Biggs made it 2-0, and a two-out flare by Hannah Carlton dropped into shallow right, barely over the infield dirt, just inside the foul line, and just out of the reach of second baseman Taylor Davis for another run-scoring hit.
- In the bottom of the second, Magnolia West, who had walked and scored in the first, was hit by a pitch with one out and immediately stole second. Yet another infield hit on a high chopper by Maddie Bertisch followed, and though West was forced to stay at second, she scored one batter later when Katherine Budnovich singled up the middle.
- The Sailfish picked up two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double by Biggs, and an RBI single by Bertisch in the fifth ended their scoring.
- Florida Southern (15-22, 7-18) received hits from Jadin Dewith in the third, and Kensie Green in the fifth. Green's fifth-inning single was followed by a walk from Maddi Conner, but the Mocs left the runners at first and second. In the top of the seventh, the Moccasins broke up the shutout after Zierra Flodman reached on a leadoff single and Lindsey Wilson followed with a double down the line in left. That put runners at second and third, and Davis got one of them in where ground ball up the middle was deflected for a 1-6-3 out at first.
- Ehlers, who is now 13-12, gave up four runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings, but the numbers were misleading. Five of the eight hits were infield singles and another barely reached the outfield grass. She struck out two and walked one. Jenna Weldon pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
- Abbey Busby pitched the first four innings to earn the win for PBA, improving to 19-10 on the season. She gave up only one hit, struck out five and walked one. Pennica, who had started the game as the designated player, went the final three innings for her third save, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Dewith has reached base with a hit or a walk in 11 of her last 12 games, and is batting .375 with a .444 on-base percentage since March 16. Dewith also made the defensive play of the night with a leaping catch in centerfield to take an extra-base hit away from Carlton in the fifth.
- Bertisch and Budnovich led the Sailfish with three hits apiece, while Biggs had three RBI.
Florida Southern and Palm Beach Atlantic resume their series Saturday at Simpson Field with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.