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Panthers Start 1-2 in Texas

Coach Val SilvestriniPhoto credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers got off to a great start on Friday in the ASU George & Ola McCorkle Challenge, beating the Adams State Grizzlies 8-0 in five innings in the first of their three games of the day.

Mikayla Wessel had two of the Panthers five hits, driving in two runs and scoring two more. McKenzie Krutsinger did a great job in the circle, going four innings, allowing four hits and walking one. She threw 39 pitches before giving way to Alaina Perry in the fifth. She faced four batters, allowing one hit and striking out one.

On the other side, Madisen Vrabel gave up seven runs on five hits, walking six batters in her 3.2 innings of work. She threw 94 of the Grizzlies 131 pitches in this game

The Panthers got on the board in the second inning when Jessica Callahan led off the inning with a home run against Vrabel. Ally Carver drew a one-out walk and one batter later, Wessel singled to third and a throwing error brought Carver and Wessel both around to score. With that, the Panthers took a 3-0 lead.

Florida Tech put the game away in the fourth inning. Carver led off with a walk and Xiarysse Emerenciana laid down a bunt and beat the play at first, putting two runners on. They weren’t there long, as Wessel drilled a ball down the right-field line and drove in both runners, as she pulled into third with a triple. A sacrifice fly by Melinda Rule made it 6-0.

Vrabel then proceeded to walk Makayla Palmer and Victoria Szrom before hitting Callahan with a pitch to load the bases. Shanysse Emerenciana and Carver then drew back-to-back walks, giving the Panthers their 8-0 cushion.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Adams State Box Score

Next up for the Panthers was a meeting with the Angelo State Rams, the second-ranked team in the country. Melanie Murphy pitched her second complete game of the season, but the Panthers offense was stifled by Rams starter Morgan Hill, who went the distance for her squad. She threw 119 pitches, giving up six hits and struck out five while walking two.

Florida Tech got two hits from Palmer in this game. but were never really able to put together a decent threat.

The Rams scored twice in the fifth, helped by a throwing error by Murphy and an RBI single by Taylor Fogle. They added two in the sixth when Taegan Kirk smoked a two-run double to left-center.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Angelo State Box Score

A. Kahn Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

In the final game of the day, the Panthers played game two against Adams State. Florida Tech again struggled to find its offense, losing by a 4-0 count.

Amanda Kahn (0-2) was in the circle for the Panthers and she got through three scoreless innings before giving up an RBI single to Skylar Higens in the fourth. Her most difficult inning came in the sixth, when the Grizzlies struck for three runs, all coming with two outs.

McWilliam had an RBI double and she came home on a two-run double by Johnson, giving ASU a 4-0 lead. That was the end of the night for Kahn, who pitched 5.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits. She walked a batter and did not strike anyone out, throwing 87 pitches.

Perry came in and got the final out in the sixth and stayed to pitch the seventh. She threw 13 of her 19 pitches for strikes.

Offensively, the Panthers managed eight hits from eight different players against Grizzlies starter Whitney Fields, but could not push across a run. Fields went the distance, walking two and striking out two. She threw 85 pitches.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Adams State Box Score (will link as soon as it’s available)

The Panthers (2-3) will start the day Saturday against Angelo State at noon and then take on Texas A&M International at 4:15 p.m.