Softball: Countryside comes out on top in pitching duel

By Bryan Burns, Times Staff Writer
Published February 23, 2008

PINELLAS PARK - The pitching duel between Countryside's Alyssa Bache and Pinellas Park's Sara Nevins on Friday speaks volumes to the quality young arms in the county.

Bache, a freshman, and Nevins, a sophomore, surrendered just one run each through 11 innings and confused hitters all night, combining for 31 strikeouts. But it was the less-heralded Bache who earned the complete-game victory after Countryside scored four in the top of the 12th inning off Nevins to win 5-1.

"I think she was trying to make a point," Countryside coach Kaylyn Bayly said of Bache. "There's been a lot of hype about Sara as a sophomore - she's an awesome pitcher. But we've got two great pitchers on our team, too, and I think she was trying to prove that tonight."

Pinellas Park (6-3, 3-0) loaded the bases in the second inning with no outs but scored only one run, on Joce Brodowski's bloop single. The Patriots' 1-0 lead held up for much of the game, thanks largely to Nevins (20 strikeouts).

But Nevins' invincibility took a hit in the seventh. The lefty gave up a leadoff double to Gia Tomossone, who scored a batter later when Desiree Baker's hard grounder to shortstop was mishandled, sending the game to extra innings.

Nevins (6-2) and Bache (4-0) continued their mastery until the 12th, when the wheels fell off for the Patriots. With runners on second and third and two out, Ali Lamb sent a hard liner up the middle that Nevins knocked down but couldn't corral, giving the Cougars (7-0, 3-0) their first lead at 2-1. Tomossone hit a triple to drive in two, and Baker lined a run-scoring single for a 5-1 lead.

Countryside 5 Pinellas Park 1

12 innings