Clearwater, Fla. — Despite a rainy weekend in Clearwater, Fla. at the Eckerd Softball Invitational, the Valdosta State softball team was able to get in two more games on Sunday, which resulted in a split after a 2-0 win over Nova Southeastern followed by a dramatic 2-1 extra inning loss to the Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic.
In the final game of the day, Rebekah Kiser took the circle and went toe-to-toe with PBA pitcher Amber Johnson to put up seven scoreless innings each. Run production only began after the tiebreaker rule was implemented in the eighth inning, with a runner being placed on second to start the both halves of the extra frame.
The Blazers served as the visiting team in the game and were able to plate the first run on a Sailfish miscue that allowed Brittany Britt, who had been placed on second base by rule to begin the half inning, to score the game's first run. It took Valdosta State only two at bats to drive Britt in, thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Fran Johnson that advanced Britt to third, followed by a ground ball to third that resulted in PBA's only defensive mistake in the game, a botched throw by Mackenzie Johnson as Britt scored the go ahead run.
PBA immediately took advantage of their placed runner, moving her up to third with a sacrifice bunt down the third base line off the bat of Stephanie Garrels. The Sailfish went right back to the bunt in the next at bat with a squeeze play, executed by Theresa Butler. The bunt allowed Chelsie Hersey to score and even up the contest 1-1 with one away. Kiser induced a fly out to Courtney Albritton in center for the second out, but Lindsey Johnson followed up with a single to move Butler into scoring position. Kayla Knight delivered a clutch pinch hit single to right in the next at bat, and Fran Johnson fielded the throw cleanly and fired to the plate for a bang-bang play, but the Sailfish prevailed as the runner was ruled safe at home.