Sailfish Softball Splits Again as the ‘Fish Finish Saint Leo Invitational at 2-2
March 9, 2014
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations
SAINT LEO, Fla.- For the second time in as many days the Sailfish softball team earned a double-header split at the Saint Leo Invitational as they put together a ferocious comeback to earn a win over Francis Marion (S.C.) University before falling on a walk-off hit to the host Lions in the nightcap.
Down 6-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning versus FMU (10-9) the Sailfish (16-4) put together a six-run frame that resulted in a hard-fought 8-6 comeback win.
In the night-cap it was another big deficit to overcome as the ‘Fish fell behind 5-1 before tying the game versus Saint Leo with a four-run fifth inning. In the end, the speed of Saint Leo (13-11) proved to be the difference as freshman Rachael Heath drew a one-out walk in the seventh, stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch that setup the game’s final play.
Leadoff hitter Mackenzie Burns delivered a tapper back to pitcher Amber Johnson (Loss, 9-3) but the Sailfish hurler’s throw to the plate short-hopped the catcher which allowed for the winning run to score on the errant throw.
The ‘Fish are now 16-4 with four more games left on their Spring Break trip.
Game One (PBA vs. Francis Marion University)
The day’s first big comeback was setup by the solid work early on of the Patriots offense as they plated three runs in the second inning and then moved ahead 5-0 with a pair in the top of the fifth frame.
The Sailfish bats finally came alive in the bottom of the fifth when freshman catcher Shelby Wood came through with a 2-run double to cut into the Patriots lead at 5-2.
After FMU added another run in the top of the sixth inning the Sailfish went to work in the bottom half highlighted by RBI singles from Victoria Gonzalez, Camille Benito and Chelsie Hersey while Kayla Knight added in a bases-loaded walk.
Amber Johnson (Win, 9-2) entered in relief as the third Sailfish pitcher of the afternoon beginning in the sixth and picked up her ninth win of the season.
PBA saw a 3-for-3 game at the plate from Benito while Hersey finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in and a run scored.
Game Two (PBA vs. Saint Leo University)
The Sailfish jumped in front in the first inning against the Lions who they were squaring off against for the second time this season following the two teams doing battle at the Sailfish Showdown Tournament a few weeks ago.
Gonzalez continued her solid work at the plate with a first inning RBI single to left-centerfield that plated the game’s first run before Saint Leo put up a three-spot in the bottom of the second inning.
Burns singled home a run in the frame for the Lions while Cassie Boggs delivered a two-run single as well to move the home team in front 3-1.
After Saint Leo added a pair in the fourth inning on a two-run homer from Chelsey Steedley the Sailfish tied the score in the fifth thanks in part to their own longball off the bat of sophomore Theresa Butler. Butler’s two-run jack followed up a two-run double by Gonzalez as the ‘Fish tied the score at 5-5.
With neither team scoring over the next two innings the Lions prevailed without the benefit of a hit in the final inning as their speed paid the biggest dividend in the end.
Gonzalez finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs driven in while Mackenzie Johnson was the only other PBA player to register a multi-hit game as Johnson finished 2-for-3.
Amber Johnson took the loss after tossing 6.1 innings of work while allowing 14 hits, six runs (five earned) with three walks and four strikeouts.
Sarah Steiner (Win, 7-5) went the final 2.1 innings for the Lions and did not allow a run.
The Sailfish will take on Columbus State (Ga.) University on Tuesday, Mar. 11th at 2 pm for a double-header before battling Georgia Southwestern State Unviersity on Wednesday at 1 pm in Americus, Ga.