The Florida Tech Panthers split their two games Saturday at the ASU McCorkle Challenge, losing their first game to second-ranked Angelo State 3-0, before snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a five-run eighth inning to beat Texas A&M International 6-5.
With the 3-0 victory, Angelo State handed the Panthers their third straight shutout loss, while improving their record to 8-1. Melanie Murphy pitched another complete game but made one mistake to Taegan Kirk who accounted for all the offense with a two-out, two-strike three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. Bailey Wallace who singled and Karina Rocha who walked scored ahead of her.
It was unfortunate for Murphy, who had been pitching well before that and went on to retire the final 10 batters she faced after the Kirk blast.
Murphy (1-2) gave up five hits and three earned runs in her six innings of work. She struck out two and walked one, throwing 80 pitches. Her counterpart Brandy Marlett got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, before hitting Jessica Callahan and Vanessa Rubio to start the third inning.
After getting Makayla Palmer to fly out, Marlett gave way to Morgan Hill in the circle. After Callahan moved to third on a sac fly, the Panthers attempted a double steal. The Rams were ready for it and threw Callahan was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
The Panthers would load the bases again in the fourth. Shanysse Emerenciana walked and Carver and Mikayla Wessel singled, but Hill escaped when she got Callahan to fly out.
That would be the Panthers last best shot to crack the scoreboard.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Angelo State Box Score
The Panthers (3-4) needed a win badly against Texas A&M International and sent McKenzie Krutsinger to the circle to help them get it. She pitched well in the first two innings before giving up a solo home run to Melanie Gamboa with two outs in the third inning, putting the Dustdevils up 1-0.
Florida Tech stranded two in the bottom of the third and the Dustdevils stranded runners at second and third in the sixth inning, but still held the one-run advantage.
The two hits Krutsinger allowed in that sixth inning, prompted a pitching change. Alaina Perry came into pitch, after Krutsinger gave the Panthers 5.1 innings, allowing just the one run on eight hits. She struck out two and did not walk a batter, throwing 61 pitches.
TA&MI starter Delainy Thompson was cruising until Palmer started the seventh with a double. Katie Maiello came in as a pinch-runner and she moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Victoria Szrom. Pinch-hitter Rebecca Wilson came through, drilling a single to center and tying the game at one.
Maddison Schofield started the eighth at second base and she went to third on a wild pitch. Alyssa Acuna and Alyssa Soneff then hit back-to-back RBI singles, making it 3-1 and Samantha Edmiston would plate two more with a two-out double to left, giving TAMIU a 5-1 lead heading to the bottom half of the inning.
Xiarysse Emerenciana was placed on second to start the inning and went to third on a bunt single by Wessel. Wessel’s heads-up base-running got her to second on the throw. Carver was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Callahan drove two home with a single, making it 5-3.
The Panthers were far from done. After Palmer walked to load the bases for the second time, Szrom doubled to left-center, tying the game, 5-5. Melanie Lint was called on to stop the bleeding and she got Shanysse Emerenciana to hit into a fielders choice, erasing Palmer at third. That brought Vanessa Rubio to the plate and she worked the count to 3-1, before ripping a double to left, bringing Szrom home with the winning run.
For more info: Texas A&M International @ Florida Tech Box Score
These two teams will play one more time on Sunday, wrapping up their tournament weekend with a 2:30 p.m. game.