Fish Defeat Lincoln Memorial and Fall to No. 6-Ranked Armstrong Atlantic on Saturday
March 8, 2014
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations
SAINT LEO, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic softball team continued to play solid all-around ball on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Lincoln Memorial University 7-3 before falling to No. 6-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University 4-3 on day one of the Saint Leo Invitational. The ‘Fish are now 15-3 on the year with two more games left to wrap up on Sunday at Saint Leo.
The ‘Fish rode a three-run first inning on their way to a big win over Lincoln Memorial in the tournament opener then were defeated on a walk-off solo homerun by AASU’s Alexis Mercer to leadoff the bottom of the seventh inning of game two.
PBA will take on Francis Marion (S.C.) University on Sunday at 1:30 pm before battling the host-Lions of Saint Leo in the tournament finale at 6 pm.
Game One (PBA vs. Lincoln Memorial)
An RBI triple by Chelsie Hersey and a 2-run double by Lindsey Johnson started the scoring for the Sailfish (15-3) in the opening inning of their matchup with the Railsplitters (13-8) as the ‘Fish staked starter Amber Johnson (Win, 8-1) to an early lead.
After LMU cut into the PBA advantage with two runs in the top of the third inning the Sailfish answered right back with a pair of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Lindsey Johnson ripped a leadoff triple to start the frame and eventually came in to score on a groundout from freshman catcher Shelby Wood that also plated Victoria Gonzalez to put the Sailfish up 5-2.
The Sailfish put the game out of reach in the fifth inning as Gonzalez doubled followed later in the frame by an RBI triple from freshman Kayla Knight and a RBI single by Theresa Butler to cap the scoring.
Amber Johnson went 5.2 innings for PBA and allowed five hits, a pair of runs and struck out one. Aubree Murphy tossed 1.1 innings of relief and was touched four two hits and a run while walking two.
Lindsey Johnson finished 3-for-4 in the game while no other Sailfish batter could muster a multi-hit game.
Game Two (PBA vs. Armstrong Atlantic State)
The nightcap saw the Sailfish faced with the daunting task of taking on the No. 6-ranked Pirates who finished last season in the national semi-finals of the NCAA Division II College World Series.
Palm Beach Atlantic jumped ahead early once again as Gonzalez lifted her first collegiate homerun over the left-centerfield wall to put the ‘Fish up 1-0 in the top of the second inning.
The Pirates would counter with two of their own in the bottom half of the frame as Kat Volger and Mercer each delivered RBI base hits to put the home team on top 2-1.
Things swung back the Sailfish way in the top of the third as Butler lead off with a single followed by Stephanie Garrels reaching on an error. After a groundout moved both runners along and Jen Hunter reached on an infield single the team brought home the tying run on a bases-loaded walk to Lindsey Johnson.
Following a strikeout, Gonzalez produced a two-out single to bring home the go-ahead run before Hunter was cut down at the plate trying to score from second-base.
Things remained 3-2 in favor of the ‘Fish until the bottom of the fifth inning when Armstrong’s Peyton Roth reached on a two-base error to start the inning, stole third and then came home to score on a Lacye Walker double.
With the ‘Fish hoping to force extra innings with a potentially-scoreless bottom of the seventh those hopes were quickly dashed on one swing from Mercer when she launched her homerun over the centerfield fence.
Junior Kayti Lundin earned the starting pitching assignment for the Sailfish but was pulled after 1.2 innings as she allowed two runs and four hits. Amber Johnson (Loss, 8-2) was tagged with the loss as she allowed two runs and four hits over the final 4.1 innings of work while tallying one strikeout.
Ollivia McLemore (Win, 10-2) went the distance for the Pirates and allowed three runs, seven hits, two walks and struck out six batters.
The Sailfish finished with seven hits including two each by Hunter, Gonzalez and Butler.