It took until the 13th inning in game two before the Florida Tech Panthers were able to snatch a 4-2 victory and complete a sweep of the Nova Southeastern Sharks on Saturday, in Ft. Lauderdale. A far cry from the five innings they needed to win game one, 8-0.
Xiarysse Emerenciana went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in game one at the plate, while in the circle, McKenzie Krutsinger went the distance in game one, allowing four hits.
Alexus Smith had a 3-for-5 day at the dish in game two, driving in one run. Melanie Murphy, who tossed a two-hitter in game one of the series on Friday came back and pitched all 13 innings in game two, as did her counterpart Lexi Storrer.
Game one was fairly quiet until the top of the third when the Panthers struck for five runs against Sharks’ starter Dominique Sprengers. Shanysse Emerenciana walked and went to second on a single by her twin sister. Mikayla Wessel singled to load the bases and Jessica Callahan drew a bases-loaded walk, giving the Panthers their first run of the afternoon.
After Makayla Palmer brought Xiary Emerenciana home with a sac fly, Vanessa Rubio launched one over the right-center field wall, pushing the Panthers lead to 5-0.
After a quick bottom of the third for Krutsinger, the Panthers put this one away in the top of the fourth. Rachel Kraak started things with a walk and went to second on a single by Shany Emerenciana. Kraak went to third on the throw and Emerencina eventually stole second.
That brought Xiary to the plate again and she continued her stellar offensive weekend with a two-run single, giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Callahan’s sacrifice fly later in the inning gave the Panthers the final run they would need.
Nova batted in the bottom of the fourth and again in the bottom of the fifth, stranding two runners in that final inning and giving the Panthers the run-rule victory.
Krutsinger (7-7) walked one and struck out two, throwing 45 pitches in the four-hit shutout.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score (Game 1)
Daniela Bautista got the first hit in the second inning of game two, doubling off Murphy. Storrer’s single in the third was wasted as well.
NSU (16-22, 5-13 SSC) got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Sydney Lageyre tripled with one out and scored on a groundout by Kailynn Blackwood, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
A leadoff single off the bat of Smith broke up the Storrer no-hitter in the top of the sixth. She went to second on a wild pitch and was pinch-run for by Melinda Rule, who was later called out for interference and the Panthers came up empty in the inning.
Florida Tech (26-18, 10-11 SSC) got the tying run in the seventh inning. Wessel reached on a throwing error by Storrer and Callahan reached on a fielder’s choice, putting runners at first and second. Katie Maiello was called on to pinch-run for Callahan and stole second later in the inning. Rubio followed her home run in game one with a sac fly in game two, tying things up, 1-1.
The game remained tied until the top of the 10th and not surprisingly, Rubio got things started with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ally Carver. Rubio would score on a double by Smith, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
The Sharks scored the tying run in the bottom of the inning on Storrer’s RBI single that plated Lageyre, who singled earlier in the inning. Things remained quiet offensively, until the top of the 13th.
Shany Emerenciana reached on an error with one out. Xiary Emerenciana singled and Shany went to third on the throw. As they have all season, the Emerenciana’s wreaked havoc on the bases, drawing a throw from catcher Alex Suzuki to second base. The throw was wild, and both Emerenciana’s scored, giving the Panthers a 4-2 lead.
Murphy (13-7) got the Sharks in order in the bottom of the 13th and gave her team the sweep of the conference doubleheader.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Nova Southeastern Box Score (Game 2)
Florida Tech returns home next Friday to host another Sunshine State Conference series against Florida Southern. Friday’s series opener starts at 3:00 p.m.