By JOHN SCHWARB
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 8, 2001
DUNEDIN -- By all means, Countryside and Palm Harbor U. should have been fairly worn out by the time they met in the Dunedin Invitational final.
Both had played two games earlier in the day, but so what? When the Cougars and Hurricanes face off, there always is something extra in the tank.
Saturday, the rivals outdid themselves, however, battling for 13 innings and nearly three hours. Countryside won 1-0, again, in a game nearly identical to March 22, when the teams dueled for 12 innings. Crystal Crews again was the complete-game warrior on the hill, and Brooke Johannessen singled home Nikki Delandy in the bottom of the 13th. "Everyone was getting tired, but we weren't going to let this one go," said Johannessen, who went 4-for-6. "We were in it for the long run."
Crews proved more dominant than the last time the teams faced. The senior allowed three hits and two walks while striking out 19. In the ninth, Hurricanes senior Christy Boyle pinch-hit with runners on first and third but struck out looking.
PHU (24-4) fielded a senior-less starting lineup, though one could hardly tell. Freshman second baseman Sara Stack made several sparkling defensive stops, and sophomore Jessica Brinkman pitched a complete game. Brinkman struck out seven and survived four innings in which Countryside (26-0) had runners in scoring position. She got some defensive help, too. In the eighth, leftfielder Jessica Barbosa nailed Jenna Schrecongost trying to score from second on a single.
But in the 13th, Delandy led off with a double. Bree Spence sacrificed, and Johannessen singled. In the Invitational's lower division final, Dunedin defeated St. Petersburg Catholic 4-0.