PBA and Nova Southeastern Split a Pair of Tightly Contested Games
April 1, 2014
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant Athletic Director for External Operations
DAVIE, Fla.- The No. 22-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic softball team split a double-header on Tuesday evening at the A.D. Griffin Sports Complex with the Sailfish winning 3-2 in the opener versus Nova Southeastern University and then losing 7-6 in extra innings of game two. The ‘Fish ended the Sharks eight-game winning streak to open the evening before being upended late in the eighth inning of game two.
The double-header split moves the Sailfish to 23-8 on the season while the Sharks are now 21-15 with Palm Beach Atlantic currently holding the season series advantage at 2-1.
The opener proved to be a pitcher’s duel between PBA hurlerAmber Johnson (Win, 12-4) and a pair of NSU pitchers with an RBI double by Theresa Butler in the top of the seventh proving to be the difference.
Left-fielder Chelsie Hersey sparked the rally in the seventh as she led off with a triple then came in easily on another gapper off the bat of Butler as the ‘Fish pushed ahead 3-2.
Johnson worked around a one-out hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the frame as the ‘Fish escaped with the one run victory to snap NSU’s win streak.
PBA got on the board with a pair of runs in the second inning as senior Mackenzie Johnson delivered a sacrifice fly RBI while another run came in on a NSU error.
Johnson finished with one strikeout in the game while scattering six hits and two walks for her 12th win of the season. Erika Garcia, the reigning Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week, took the loss in relief after splitting the pitching duties with starter Jennie Von Doellen.
Lindsey Johnson and Brianna Rano each contributed two hits as they accounted for half of PBA’s eight team hits.
The nightcap once again featured a classic PBA vs. NSU matchup that would need extra innings to decide a victor after a leadoff homer from NSU’s Garcia in the bottom of the seventh inning tied the game at 6-6.
Nova Southeastern would get the final run they would need in the eighth after a PBA error allowed a runner to get into scoring position while Garcia struck again for a walk-off single for the 7-6 win in the bottom of the eighth inning.
PBA appeared destined for a more comfortable scoring margin early on as freshman Victoria Gonzalez followed up a Lindsey Johnson RBI double by launching her team-leading fifth homerun of the season over the centerfield fence for a 3-0 first inning for the ‘Fish.
NSU fought right back however in the bottom of the first as they took advantage of a Sailfish error in the outfield that allowed two runs to score and once again make things close at 3-2 after one inning in the books.
Two more runs came in on another PBA defensive miscue in the second frame as NSU took the lead at 4-3 with just three hits in the two innings.
PBA took advantage of some NSU carelessness in the top of the fifth to retake the lead as a Rano hit in the infield was misplayed with two outs for the game-tying run followed by a Camille Benito blooper in the middle of the infield that allowed the go-ahead run to scamper home for a 5-4 Sailfish lead.
Once again ready to answer the Sharks plated the tying run in the bottom of the fifth on a Gina Bondarenko RBI single.
A leadoff triple by Lindsey Johnson in the top of the seventh set the stage for a Gonzalez RBI single to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the seventh only to see NSU turn the tables on three PBA pitchers in the seventh and eighth innings.
After escaping a big situation in the bottom of the seventh out of the bullpen, sophomore right-hander Aubree Murphy (Loss, 5-3) would allow the unearned run in the eighth to take the loss.
Garcia earned the game-winning hit while tallying the win in the circle for NSU with 2.2 innings of work out of the bullpen, allowing two hits, a run and three strikeouts.
Butler finished 3-for-5 in the loss for PBA while Lindsey Johnson and Gonzalez each delivered two hits each with Gonzalez driving in three runs.
The Sailfish will return to action on Friday, April 4th at 3 pm when they travel to St. Augustine, Fla. to take on Flagler College.