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Eckerd Walks Off Against FIT

Vanessa RubioPhoto credit: James Ragan Photography

The Florida Tech Panthers had their seven-game winning streak snapped Friday, after Meredith McGinnis gave the homestanding Eckerd Tritons a 1-0 win with a walk-off single in the seventh inning.

The loss snapped FIT’s seven-game winning streak and put a damper on another great effort in the circle for Melanie Murphy, who allowed five hits in the game, two in that decisive seventh inning. Eckerd had only one runner get as far as second base before the final inning.

The Panthers (29-19, 13-12 SSC) had chances of their own against Tritons starter Nikole Van Gennep. They left runners at first and third in the third, when Rachel Kraak doubled off the wall in left-center and went to third on a sac bunt by Shanysse Emerenciana. After a walk to Xiarysse Emerenciana, Van Gennup got Mikayla Wessel to line out.

Florida Tech threatened again in the top of the fourth, with Jessica Callahan, Makayla Palmer, and Vanessa Rubio getting three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out. To Van Gennep’s credit, she bounced back to get the next three outs, including robbing Ally Carver of a hit when she snared a line drive that looked ticketed for center field.

That was really the last chance for the visitors, as Kraak was the only other baserunner the rest of the way after she got hit by a pitch in the top of the seventh.

Eckerd (19-23, 10-15 SSC) got a double off the bat from Janna Gaburo to start the bottom of the seventh, after a lengthy at-bat that saw her foul off numerous pitches. She went to third on a sac bunt by Chelsea Armstrong and came home one batter later on the McGinnis walk-off single.

Murphy (15-8) deserved a better fate, throwing 103 pitches over 6.1 innings of work. She struck out five and walked just one. Van Gennep went the distance, throwing 96 pitches, walking one and striking out three. She allowed four hits.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Eckerd Box Score

FIT came into Friday’s game ranked seventh in the NCAA regional standings, but if they want to keep any chance of a postseason berth alive, they will need to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader. Game one is scheduled to start at noon.