LAKELAND – Florida Southern and Palm Beach Atlantic tried to beat the rain Friday afternoon at Barnett Field and were only partially successful. A scheduled doubleheader was reduced to one game, and even that was reduced to 5½ innings before weather again brought the day to an early end. With the game already through the five innings needed to make it official, Palm Beach Atlantic was victorious 1-0 on a solo home run by Victoria Gonzalez.
Gonzalez's blast came leading off the top of the fourth inning and was her fourth home run of the season. It made a winner of Rachel Hill, who was matched up against her former Brookwood High School teammate Brandi Jones. Hill, who is now 9-6, gave up two hits, walked three and had no strikeouts in her second complete game shutout of the season. Jones surrendered seven hits, walked one and struck out four but fell to 5-9 despite another strong performance in the circle.
Friday marked the third time in the last four weeks that Jones gave up two runs or less only to get saddled with a loss or a no-decision. The Sailfish (20-12) ended up with three bunt singles and another infield hit that was fielded too deep in the hole at short for junior Beri Scott to have any chance at throwing out Maddie Bertisch. Other than the home run by Gonzalez, the Sailfish hit only three balls out of the infield against the Mocs' junior pitcher from Snellville, Georgia.
PBA had two of those bunt singles and a walk in the fourth inning after Gonzalez had homered to put the Sailfish ahead. Jones prevented any further scoring though by getting a fly ball into shallow right field and a diving catch by Scott in foul territory behind third base.
The Moccasins (10-21-1) had three base runners in the bottom off the second, but had one erased on a double play and stranded the other two after singles by freshman Jessica Trana and sophomore Ashlyn Worcester. Worcester and senior Jordan Alexander would later draw walks in the bottom of the fifth, but they too were left on base before Jones pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth and rain stopped play shortly after that.
The teams hope to get a doubleheader in Saturday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m., weather and field conditions permitting.