Sailfish Round Out Road Trip in Fine Form with Sweep of GSW Hurricanes
March 12, 2014
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations
AMERICUS, Ga.- The newly-ranked Sailfish softball team christened their No. 25 national ranking (NFCA) on Wednesday afternoon by tallying a pair of wins over Georgia Southwestern State University to close out a long Spring Break road trip. The ‘Fish offense continued to supply plenty of run support while the team played solid ball all the way around in both games to the tune of a 5-4 and 9-4 sweep of the Hurricanes.
The pair of wins pushes the Sailfish to 19-5 on the season with the rest of the week off to rest their beleaguered bodies from a stretch of eight games over five days.
Senior Mackenzie Johnson drove home four runs between the two games on Wednesday while fellow senior Jen Hunter and freshman Victoria Gonzalez each led the way with four hits total in the two-game stretch played at Lady ‘Cane Field.
The opening game of the matchup versus GSW saw the Sailfish plate two runs in each of their first two innings then holding off a late GSW rally towards the end of the ballgame.
Gonzalez drove home a pair with a double in the first inning for PBA while Mackenzie Johnson provided the power in the second frame with a 2-run homer to plate two more.
With the Hurricanes (14-10) continuing to put pressure on with single runs in the first, second and fifth innings the Sailfish knew they could not relent.
They added one more insurance run in the top of the fifth inning that proved to be crucial as sophomore Theresa Butler contributed a bases-loaded walk to extend the lead to 5-2.
With the ‘Canes closing the gap to 5-3 with a run in the bottom of the fifth and then even closer at 5-4 on a solo homer by Ashley Clifton in the bottom of the seventh, Sailfish head coach Kimmy Bloemers opted to go to her bullpen with two outs in the final frame.
Relieving starter Amber Johnson (Win, 10-3) was junior Kaytii Lundin who notched her second save of the season by retiring the only batter she faced on a groundout.
Amber Johnson allowed seven hits and four runs in 6.2 innings of work while tallying four strikeouts in the process as she posted her 10th win of the season.
Hunter finished 2-for-3 in the contest with a pair of runs scored while Gonzalez was 3-for-3 with two runs batted in.
The final game of the day saw the Sailfish and Hurricanes tied 2-2 after three innings before the ‘Fish exploded for five runs in the middle innings and two more in the seventh to extend their advantage to a more comfortable 9-4 decision.
Lundin (Win, 5-1) followed up her one-out save in the opener by going the distance against GSW in the nightcap as she allowed four runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts.
After scoring their first two runs in the early stages of the game on GSW errors, Palm Beach Atlantic fired back with a two-run double by Lindsey Johnson in the fourth followed by the speedy Sailfish centerfielder stealing third and coming in to score on an overthrow.
A 2-run double by Hunter in the fifth inning extended the PBA lead while a 2-run double by Mackenzie Johnson in the seventh put a stamp on a solid overall day at the plate.
The top-three in the Sailfish lineup (Hersey, Butler, Hunter) each contributed two-hit games in the nightcap while Shelby Wood and Stephanie Garrels carried the bottom of the order also with two hits apiece as part of the 13-hit PBA attack.
The Sailfish will return to game action Wednesday, Mar. 19th at 2 pm when they travel to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. for a 2 pm double-header.