The Saint Leo Lions showed why they were the preseason favorite to win the Sunshine State Conference over the weekend. Following a 1-0 win on Friday, they swept the Panthers in Saturday’s doubleheader, 7-4 and 3-1.
Errors have been a big problem for the Panthers in the early going this season and Saturday was no exception. They were a big part of the Lions six-run first inning in game one, against Panthers starter McKenzie Krutsinger who deserved a better fate in this one.
Bethany Kursch started the scoring with an RBI single back to the mound. Sarah Pauscher had an RBI single later in the inning and after Brittany Creamer reached on an error allowing another run to score, moved her to third, Pauscher later stole home, giving her team a 4-0 lead. The final two runs came home on the second error of the inning.
Saint Leo starter Auria Mounts struggled in the second inning. She walked Alexus Smith and Rachel Kraak before Shanysse Emerenciana reached on an error, loading the bases. Xiarysse Emerenciana worked the third walk of the inning and gave the Panthers their first run.
Mikayla Wessel drove in the second run with a fielder’s choice and a passed ball allowed Shanysse Emerenciana to score the third run. An error later in the inning on a ball hit by Jessica Callahan gave the Panthers the fourth run of the inning.
Amanda Kahn took over for Krutsinger (3-2) to start the bottom of the second. Krutsinger allowed four hits, but only two of the six runs were earned. She walked one of the 10 batters she faced.
Kahn pitched well, allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. She pitched five innings, allowing four hits and a walk. Alison Mitts who was the starter for Saint Leo in Friday’s game pitched the final 3.2 innings of this one and earned the save. She allowed three hits and struck out three.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Saint Leo Box Score (Game 1)
In game two, all the scoring came in the third inning. Wessel got things going for the Panthers with a one-out single against Saint Leo starter Sara Neuman and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ally Carver. A single by Callahan got the Panthers on the board.
Panthers starting pitcher Melanie Murphy walked Kacie Kelly and gave up a bunt single to Ashley Morris to start the inning. Shyanne DuBois moved the runners with a sac bunt and Kursch made their trip home an easy one, as she took Murphy deep over the left field wall.
The Panthers (7-9, 0-3 SSC) got two runners on in the sixth and two more on in the seventh before Mounts took over for Neuman in the seventh. She got the final two outs of the game, picking up the save and sealing the deal for Saint Leo
Murphy (3-5) allowed six hits and three earned runs in her six innings of work. She walked two and hit a batter.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Saint Leo (Game 2)
Next up for Florida Tech is a three-game weekend series against Tampa. Game one is set for 2:00 on Friday at Nancy Bottge Field. Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled for a noon start.