James Ragan Photography Vanessa Rubio – Photo credit: James Ragan Photography

After going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Angelo State, Vanessa Rubio had two of the three RBI’s in the Panthers 3-2 win over 18th-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic in the nightcap at Melbourne High School. 

The win over the Sailfish is a non-conference win and will not count in the Sunshine State Conference standings. These two teams will meet in conference play in March. 

Junior Jordan Lawlis (1-0) got her first start for Florida Tech in the circle and despite giving up back-to-back hits to start the game, she able to get out of the jam and the Panthers offense rewarded her in the bottom of the first. 

Xiarysse Emerenciana singled and stole second. After Cheyenne Nelson was hit by a pitch, Sailfish starter Katherine Budnovich threw a wild pitch, allowing both runners to move up. One out later, Rubio laced a single down the left field line, allowing both baserunners to score and giving Florida Tech a 2-0 lead. 

Budnovich helped herself in the top of the second with a two-run single of her own, tying the game at two. 

The game didn’t stay tied long, as Emerenciana singled withone out and just as she did to start the game, stole second. After Nelson moved her to third on a ground out, Tina Velazquez singled back up the middle, allowing the go-ahead run to score. 

Shanysse Emerenciana looked poised to get the Panthers an insurance run in the third inning, when she tripled with one out. Unfortunately, Katrina Hand lined into a double play at third, ending the inning. 

Lawlis would go three innings, giving up two runs on five hits. She walked two and struck out two, throwing 32 of her 56 pitches for strikes. 

Velazquez would make her debut in the circle for the Panthers in the fourth inning. She gave up one hit in three innings of work, walking two and striking out two. Couple that with her 3-for-4 day with an RBI against Angelo State, and that is one heck of a debut with the Panthers. 

Melanie Murphy, who threw 134 pitches in game one of the day, came back to pitch the seventh against the Sailfish. She did allow a two out walk, but also struck out a batter, en route to the save. She threw 20 pitches, 11 of those were strikes. 

For more info: Palm Beach Atlantic @Florida Tech Box Score 

The Panthers are right back at it on Sunday, playing Angelo State at 10:00 a.m. in a makeup of Friday’s rain out,then taking on former Panthers Associate Head Coach Sean Cotter and the Barry Buccaneers at 2:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Nancy Bottge Field. 

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