PBA Produces Big Win in Opener but Struggles in Game Two for a Split Versus Northwood
February 21, 2013
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- As has been the case through much of the early stages of the 2013 softball season, the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish continued their early trend on Thursday evening with some head-scratching results. Dominant in practically every phase of the game in the first game, the Fish knocked off West Palm Beach rival Northwood University 7-0 then followed things up with a disappointing 6-2 loss in game two.
The split versus the Seahawks (1-9) leaves the Sailfish with a 5-9 record to begin the season with No. 15-ranked Flagler College set for a showdown at the Lake Catherine Complex on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 pm.
The Sailfish left little doubt they were hungry for a win in the opening game of the double-header as they pounded out eight hits and rode the strong pitching arm of freshman Amber Johnson (Win, 5-3) to the 7-0 win.
Junior Jen Hunter provided two big swings in the contest with a 2-run triple in the third inning and a 2-run double in the fifth to help aide the PBA offense.
Mackenzie Johnson got the team on the board in the second frame with a sacrifice fly RBI to plate Hunter while Camille Benito scored Hunter again in the fifth on a single.
The eight-hit PBA attack was more than enough to back the strong pitching of Amber Johnson (Win, 5-3) who limited the Hawks to only four hits while striking out nine in posting her fourth shutout of the season.
Brittany Jones continued her good work at the plate as well with a 3-for-3 performance out of the number two spot in the order while scoring two runs.
Macy Morgan took the loss in the circle for NU and was tagged for seven runs (six earned) with one walk and no strikeouts. Catcher Kayla Steinkirchner went 2-for-3 for Northwood.
Hoping to ride the solid momentum of a game one rout, the Fish would fall short against a strong pitching performance from newcomer Kami Reinecke and some solid NU defense.
The right-hander did not record a 1-2-3 inning in the contest as PBA left 14 runners on base including the bases-loaded in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
Sailfish starter Kayti Lundin turned in one of her top performances in a PBA uniform by limiting the Seahawks to only two hits and one earned run before being lifted after 4.1 innings of work.
With Amber Johnson (Loss, 5-4) proving dominant in the opener, head coach Kimmy Bloemers opted to hand the ball off to her young ace with the Seahawks threatening in the fifth inning.
Johnson retired the threat and the Sailfish would even the score at 1-1 in bottom of the inning before things started to fall the NU way.
The Seahawks plated three runs in the sixth by way of only one hit while taking advantage of three walks, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly in addition to a 2-run single from Hailey Cusimano.
They plated two more runs in the top of the seventh to give themselves a bit more of a cushion.
It would turn out that’s exactly what they would need as PBA saw their first three batters reach in the final inning before a pop-up recorded the first out.
NU would opt to go with Morgan in the pitcher’s circle the rest of the way as she allowed only a RBI single to Lauren Powell before retiring the final two batters she faced on lineouts to the outfield.
Powell finished 2-for-3 as the only PBA player to register a multi-hit game in the double-header finale.
Amber Johnson took the loss by allowing five runs with four walks in 2.2 innings of work.
Reinecke worked around six walks but allowed just four hits to earn her first win of the season. Erica Yunka finished 2-for-3 for NU with a pair of runs scored.