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Panthers Blank Tars in Series Opener

Shanysse Emerenciana – Sports Lowdown Photo


Florida Tech opened a three-game series against Rollins on Thursday with a 2-0 win over the visiting Tars. The victory evened the all-time softball series between these two teams at 51 wins each.

Melanie Murphy got the complete-game for the Panthers, lowering her Sunshine State Conference-leading earned run average to 1.16. Opposing batters are hitting .196 against her, ranking her third in the SSC.

Offensively, the Panthers managed five hits, scoring single runs in the first and second innings. Mikayla Wessel singled with one out in the first and stole second. She went to third on a groundout by Jessica Callahan and came home on a wild pitch by Rollins starter Grace Street.

Florida Tech (22-17, 6-10 SSC) added a run in the second. Ally Carver was hit by a pitch and stole second. She came home on Shanysse Emerenciana‘s double to left-center, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Emerenciana would steal third, but she was stranded.

Murphy (10-7) gave up two hits in the top of the third but got out of the inning when Panthers’ first baseman Rachel Kraak made a nice running catch on a sinking bloop by Talia Kentoffio.

Rollins (21-16, 7-9 SSC) threatened in the sixth when Murphy walked two batters and had one reach on an error, loading the bases with one out. The Panthers hurler took matters into her own hands, striking out Lindsay Gehring and Amanda Guglietta, swinging to end the frame and preserve the 2-0 lead.

FIT stranded two runners in the sixth, missing out on a chance to add to their lead but they didn’t need it, as Murphy retired the Tars 1-2-3 in the seventh and giving the Panthers a much-needed conference win.

Murphy allowed two hits in this one, striking out seven and walking three. She threw 104 pitches.

For more info: Rollins @ Florida Tech Box Score

The series wraps up on Friday with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. at Nancy Bottge Field.