Softball Closes Out the Eckerd Invitational with Wins Over Colorado Christian and Valdosta State
February 9, 2014
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations
CLEARWATER, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic softball team extended their season-opening win streak on Sunday to four games by defeating Colorado Christian University and Valdosta State University to wrap up play at the Eckerd College Invitational. The ‘Fish got solid pitching and defense in both games as they defeated CCU 2-0 and then knocked off the No. 6-ranked (NFCA) Blazers 2-1 in extra innings.
Freshman Kayla Knight played the hero in the win over Valdosta State as she delivered her first collegiate hit in grand style by producing a game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning to score sophomore Theresa Butler just ahead of the VSU catcher’s tag.
The pitching duo of Kayti Lundin and Amber Johnson combined to allow only five hits during Sunday’s two games with each registering a win inside the pitcher’s circle.
Game One (PBA vs. Colorado Christian)
The Sailfish (4-0) jumped in front of the Cougars (4-6) with a run in the first inning that would stake Lundin (Win, 2-0) to an early lead. Leadoff hitter Stephanie Garrels singled to start the game, stole second-base and was driven home on an RBI single from senior Jen Hunter.
Things would remain 1-0 in favor of the ‘Fish until the top of the fifth inning when Chelsie Hersey came through with a sacrifice fly RBI that plated pinch-runner Britney Powell to push PBA in front 2-0.
Lundin would toss the first 4.1 innings before handing the ball off to Johnson who would collect the save by going the final 2.2 innings of work without allowing a hit.
The Sailfish finished with six hits in the ballgame including two each for Garrels and Hunter. Mackenzie Johnson added a hit and a walk.
Game Two (PBA vs. Valdosta State)
One year ago the Sailfish and Blazers would square off at the Charger Chillout Tournament with VSU winning a slugfest 16-9. The 2014 matchup would have a much different story.
Amber Johnson (Win, 2-0) would return to the circle for the Sailfish and dazzle throughout the afternoon as she limited the always-potent VSU lineup to just two hits in eight innings.
The Blazers (7-2) would counter with junior right-hander Rebekah Kiser who also did her best to limit the Sailfish lineup as neither team would score through seven innings of play.
Utilizing international tie-breaking rules for extra innings, which places a runner on second-base to start the inning, both teams would have a solid chance to put a run on the scoreboard in the eighth inning. VSU crossed the plate first in the top half of the inning following a PBA error but the Sailfish would have an answer.
The bottom of the eighth began with Garrels executing a sacrifice bunt to put Hersey at third with just one out. Butler then came through with a bunt that not only scored the game-tying run but allowed her to beat out the play to first-base.
After a flyout, Lindsey Johnson stepped in and added a single which set the stage for Knight’s pinch-hit heroics as Butler raced around to score the game-winning run with a beautiful slide to avoid the catcher’s tag.
Amber Johnson finished with one strikeout and a pair of walks inside the circle while Kiser (Loss, 1-2) took the tough-luck loss after firing 7.2 innings and scattering seven hits.
Lindsey Johnson paced the Sailfish seven-hit attack with a 2-for-4 performance.
PBA will take on Northwood University in a double-header on Wednesday, Feb. 12th beginning at 1 pm for their next outing which will be played at NU in West Palm Beach.