Sailfish Fight Hard but Fall Twice in Dramatic Fashion at Nova Southeastern
April 17, 2013
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Communications
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- It would take two comeback efforts on Wednesday evening but the Nova Southeastern softball team willed their way to a season series victory over Palm Beach Atlantic by sweeping a pair of games against the Sailfish at the A.D. Griffin Sports Complex. The Sharks and Sailfish needed 11 innings to settle a winner in game one with NSU capturing a 4-3 victory while the Sharks claimed a 5-4 win in the bottom of the seventh in game two to earn the sweep.
Both games saw the Sailfish (23-21) hold late leads with a chance for victory only to see the Sharks (23-23) snatch the win back with a dramatic, late-inning comeback victory.
Senior Mary Pippin tossed nearly 12 innings between the two games but it would be the NSU pitching combination of Erica Garcia and Jennie Von Doellen that would edge out the Fish with Garcia also providing the game-winning hit in the opener.
A scoreless tie would be broken first by Palm Beach Atlantic in the top of the fifth inning of game one when freshman Lindsey Johnson laced a RBI single into left-field that put the Fish on top 1-0.
PBA added on another run an inning later when Lauren Powell delivered a RBI single to plate Kara Anderson for a 2-0 Sailfish lead.
With Pippin cruising merrily along in the pitcher’s circle, the senior right-hander would run into trouble finally in the bottom of the sixth as a NSU RBI single from Melanie Spicola and a sacrifice-fly from Chelsea Emery later in the frame tied the score.
Head coach Kimmy Bloemers would go to her bullpen once the game hit the seventh inning as sophomore right-hander Kayti Lundin was summoned for the final frames.
PBA handed their young reliever a 3-2 lead in the 11th after a big RBI double from Lauren Powell plated Jen Hunter for the lead in the top half of the inning.
After two quick outs, a two-out error by the PBA defense then opened the door for a NSU rally. A bunt single followed the error which set up a walk and a hit-batsman to tie the score at 3-3. Garcia ended the game when her line drive down the left-field line landed just inside the foul line for a 4-3, walk-off win for the Sharks.
Garcia (Win, 6-4) went all 11 innings in the circle for Nova and scattered 11 hits with three runs (two earned) allowed while striking out three. Pippin tallied five strikeouts in her six innings of work for the Fish.
Lindsey Johnson finished 3-for-5 for PBA in the opening contest while Powell also managed a solid showing with a 3-for-5 night at the plate including two runs driven home.
With their pitching depth limited due to injury, PBA turned once again to the senior Pippin who gave the Fish another gutsy performance.
The Bonifay, Fla. native went the first 5.2 innings of game two while allowing four runs (two earned), striking out four and walking two.
PBA pushed across the game’s first run for a second consecutive game as a mishandled ball by the NSU second-baseman allowed pinch-runner Sarah Gosciniak to score and give PBA a 1-0 lead.
NSU would respond however with three-runs in the bottom of the frame while taking advantage of a pair of PBA fielding errors.
The Sailfish did not quit however and plated a single run in the fourth thanks to another NSU error followed by two more coming in on a Lindsey Johnson 2-run double in the fifth inning.
Things remained 4-3 in favor of PBA until the bottom of the sixth when Emery cashed in on a game-tying single up the middle to end the night for Pippin.
Lundin once again came on in relief to kill the NSU rally and push the game to the top of the seventh inning.
After PBA was held scoreless in the final inning NSU responded with another walk-off win, this time courtesy of a Laura Salidrigas walk-off squeeze bunt.
PBA managed only four hits in the second game with two coming from Chelsie Hersey.
Palm Beach Atlantic will take on Eckerd College on Saturday, April 20 beginning with a 1 pm start for another South Region double-header.