Life can be a breeze when playing against Amanda Bettker.
That's because she fans most of her opponents.
Bettker was her usual self Thursday against St. Petersburg, striking out 15 to keep pace with her season average. But just about everything else was unusual.
Pitching through heavy rain and the heavy hitting of the Green Devils, Bettker gave up more hits (five) than she had in her past three games (two). She also gave up more runs (five) than she had the entire season (three).
After using her right arm to carry Northeast through much of the season, Bettker decided to do something different. She gave the team a lift with her bat.
With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, Bettker provided the game-winning hit, a two-run double to bring home Erica Lord and Barbie Davis as the Vikings pulled out an 8-5 victory.
"It was a horrible looking game," Northeast coach Sheryl Hollen said. "We've usually struggled when we come up against rain and Amanda had a little trouble with that in the end. She's carried us so many times that it's nice that she had support today. The team carried her."
The Vikings collected 12 hits and had four players _ Bettker, Lord, Ashleigh Lutz and Kristin Kravitz _ who had two or more hits. It was enough to hold off St. Petersburg, which came around late in the game.
Behind 4-1, the Green Devils scored four runs to go ahead 5-4. Rachel Danks started the rally with a two-run double that drove in Lela Gonzales and Chrissy Fetzer. Danks scored on a passed ball to give St. Petersburg the lead and set up Bettker's heroics.
The Green Devils had a chance to come back and Bettker had a chance to add to her strikeout total, but that chance ended for both teams in the top of the seventh.
Bettker started the inning with her 15th strikeout on a called third strike, which drew the ire of Green Devils coach Tim Comstock, who argued the call. Comstock was thrown out by the umpire and took his team with him because there was no other official coach for the players. He will have to sit out the next two games and could face a fine by the Florida High School Activities Association.
Northeast (9-3) won its seventh straight and kept it undefeated in the PCAC South Division.