After taking the opening game of the series on Friday, the Florida Tech Panthers were looking to keep their winning ways going on Saturday, as the series with Embry-Riddle wrapped up at Nancy Bottge Field.
The Panthers came into game one riding a six-game winning streak but the Eagles bats got going early, putting up 16 hits in a 10-6 victory. Florida Tech came back with a 2-1 victory in game two, behind the second straight complete-game from starting pitcher Melanie Murphy.
ERAU scored in five consecutive innings in game one, while the Panthers did most of their damage in a five-run second inning.
It was not a good day for starting pitchers in game one. Amanda Kahn got the start for Florida Tech and gave up four runs (two earned) in 1.2, while Jayla Jackson gave up four runs in 1.1 innings.
Maggie Scott singled to start the game, stole second and later scored on an error. Kailah Rain followed Scott with a single of her own and after another error allowed her to get to third, she stole home, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Both of those runs were unearned.
ERAU would add to the lead in the top of the second. Destiny Carroll doubled and scored on Lisa Hop’s single. Scott’s RBI double would make it 4-0. It also ended the day for Kahn. McKenzie Krutsinger would get the final out of the inning.
Florida Tech answered in a big way in the bottom of the frame. Jackson would walk the first two batters and Victoria Szrom‘s RBI double made it 4-1. One out later, Xiarysse Emerenciana was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That brought Elisha Barker to the circle for Embry-Riddle and Mikayla Wessel into the box.
Wessel singled through the right side and a throwing error at second allowed the Panthers to clear the bases, giving the home team a 5-4 lead. A Fielder’s choice by Carroll tied the game at five in the top of the third.
The Eagles would regain the lead in the top of the fourth with a two-run single off the bat of Mariana Pereira, making it a 7-5 game.
The Panthers closed the gap to one in the bottom of the fourth. Wessel singled and stole second. She went to third on a wild pitch and was chased home when Jessica Callahan singled to left. Just like that, it was 7-6.
Krutsinger faced four batters in the fifth, giving up singles to three. Mackie Chandler’s single brought home Eryn Chester and knocked Krutsinger out of the game. Alaina Perry came in and was immediately victimized by an error allowing another run to score. The Eagles final run came on an RBI single by Rain.
For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
Game two was a rematch of Friday’s hurlers with Murphy and Ilona Andringa facing off. Much like Friday, this one was a pitcher’s duel. It took the Panthers until the sixth inning to dent the scoreboard on Friday and they repeated that Saturday, hanging on for a 2-1 victory.
Katy Thompson got the first hit of the game against Murphy, a second-inning double. She would go to third on a Peqe Lopez single. After Carroll reached on a fielder’s choice and Lopez went to third. She got caught between third and home, before being tagged out by catcher Makayla Palmer. Meanwhile, Thompson ran herself into an out at home and the Eagles went from a huge threat to coming up empty.
The Panthers (14-12, 3-6 SSC) ran themselves out of a golden opportunity in the bottom of the inning. Vanessa Rubio singled and went to second on a Szrom single. The ball was misplayed in the outfield and both runners attempted to move up, but Rubio was cut down at third, ending the inning.
Murphy (5-5) would go on to retire 12 in a row, from the third to the sixth inning. Palmer would double in the bottom of the fourth, but that would be it until the Panthers broke through in the sixth.
Wessel drew a one-out walk and scored on Callahan’s double, beating the throw home. Callahan went to third on the throw and that would be key, as Palmer singled her in, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Embry-Riddle (17-6, 9-3 SSC) didn’t go down without a fight. Chester singled to start the inning and she went to third on a double from Rain. After B. Limon’s sac fly made it 2-1, but Murphy bounced back to get Lopez to ground out, ending the game and giving the Panthers a split of the doubleheader and a series win.
For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
Murphy game up a run on four hits, striking out four and not allowing a walk.
The Panthers homestand continues Monday with a doubleheader against Ursuline College. Game one is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.