Johnson’s two-run blast sparks Diamonds win over Akron
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 12, 2010) _ Loryn Johnson didn’t see where her two-run home run landed and she wasn’t alone.
Her second inning blast off of Akron right-hander Lisa Norris cleared both the left field fence and the bleachers so fast that few people got a very good glimpse at it.
“It was one of those where you only turned to watch and admire it, not to question where it is going,” Diamonds coach Ernie Reynolds said.
“It is exciting. Every time she comes to bat we know something great can happen.”
The two-run homer, her seventh of the season, gave the Tennessee Diamonds a 2-0 lead over the Akron Racers. The Diamonds, sparked by back-to-back RBI doubles from Dede Justice and Shannon Doepking in a three-run fifth inning, held on for a 5-0 win over Akron Thursday night at muggy Draper Diamond on the campus of Lipscomb University.
“I really didn’t watch it,” Johnson said. “I know I have to attack early on Norris in the account. I have to stay away from her changeup.
She has a great changeup. It keeps us off balance when she does throw it.
“Most of the year we have to come from behind and really battle in those last few innings. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense, whoever we have in the circle, and the whole lineup.”
Left-hander Monica Abbott raised her record to 6-7. She struck out nine and walked one on the way to a four-hitter. All four hits were singles with Akron lead-off hitter Lisa Modglin credited with two of them.
Johnson was glad that the Diamonds were able to give Abbott strong run support, something they have not always done this season.
“I feel like when she throws we have a lot of close games and we don’t give her that run support,” Johnson said. “She is going to hold people to one or two runs. I’m sure it was a good feeling for her to know we produced runs for her, not to mention our other pitchers got to watch us put up some runs."
Norris, 13-4, scattered five hits and gave up only two earned runs.
She struck out five and walked one.
“We have a lot of respect for Norris,” Reynolds said. “She threw two quality games against us on the road just a few days ago.
“It was great to see Monica get the run support. Her strikeout count was high. Our team played with confidence on the field. It was a good outing for us.”
The series, the final home stand of the season for the Diamonds, continues Friday night at 7. There is a doubleheader Saturday with games at 4 and 7. The series finale is Sunday at 2.
DIAMOND GEMS: Modglin was caught stealing three times. …Johnson and Justice each have 12 RBI for the season for the Diamonds. …The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes as the grounds crew worked to prepare the field after a late afternoon thunderstorm.