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Panthers Can’t Solve St. Mary’s

Vanessa RubioPhoto credit: James Ragan Photography

St. Mary’s scored in three consecutive innings Saturday and beat the Florida Tech Panthers 4-1, in the opening game on day two of the 2018 Florida Tech Softball Classic.

The Panthers (5-6) lost to the Rattlers on Friday, 3-1 but came back and won game two over Lynn 2-1, with McKenzie Krutsinger pitching a great game. She was back in the circle Saturday, but the day did not go as planned.

Florida Tech got on the board first in the top of the second when Alexus Smith and Rachel Kraak hit back-to-back doubles off of St. Mary’s starter Hope Russell, making it 1-0. Shanysse Emerenciana bunted Kraak over to third, but she was stranded there.

Brenda Iparraguirre and Abigale Carney started the Rattlers second inning with consecutive singles but Krutsinger worked out of the jam. She was unable to do that in the bottom of the fourth. The same duo of Iparraguirre and Carney singled again, this time with one out. After Marcela Vasquez flied out, Alessandra Ortiz smacked a two-run double to right-center, chasing both runners home and giving St. Mary’s a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth Krutsinger gave up a run as Kristal Salinas reached on an error with two outs. She scored moments later on a double by Raynelle Nash, giving the Rattlers a 3-1 lead. The final run came in the bottom of the sixth with a home run off the bat of Marcela Vasquez.

That ended the day for Krutsinger, who gave up eight hits in 5.1 innings of work. The official box score has all four of those runs being earned. She struck out three and did not walk a batter, throwing 74 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Alaina Perry came in to get the final two outs in the sixth and that set the Panthers up for their final at-bat in the seventh. With one out, Smith doubled and was replaced by pinch-runner Melinda Rule. A groundout by Kraak moved Rule to third. Pinch-hitter Rebecca Wilson drew a walk.

Panthers head coach Val Silvestrini called on Victoria Szrom to pinch-hit and she walked to load the bases, but after Xiarysse Emerenciana took over as a pinch-runner, leadoff hitter Mikayla Wessel hit the ball back to Russell, who threw her out to end the game.

With that, Russell got the complete game, allowing just four Florida Tech hits, walking four and striking out three. She threw 121 pitches, 71 for strikes.

For more info: Florida Tech @ St. Mary’s Box Score

Florida Tech will be back in action at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, taking on Flagler College.