Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Victoria Szrom – Sports Lowdown Photo

Victoria Szrom hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning Friday, helping the Florida Tech Panthers to a 7-2 win over the Lee Flames Friday at the NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic in Clearwater. 

Xiarysse Emerenciana had two of the Panthers five hits in this game. 

In the circle, Melanie Murphy picked up her first win of the season, allowing two runs (one earned) over four innings. She allowed five hits while striking out three and walking two, throwing 74 pitches (48 strikes). 

The Flames struck first in the bottom of the first when Kayla Louie walked and stole second, later scoring on an error. Murphy was able to work out of further trouble, stranding a runner at second. 

Lee (4-3) would pick up another run in the bottom of the second when Louie singled home Claudia Jones, who walked to start the inning. 

Florida Tech (3-2) would storm back in the top of the third inning, putting four on the board against Flames starter Shonna Penney. Shanysse Emerenciana was hit by a pitch and went to second on a single by Lexi Bettermann. A bunt single by Xiarysse Emerenciana loaded the bases, and two outs later Vanessa Rubio drew a walk to cut the lead in half. 

A wild pitch allowed Cheyenne Nelson to score the tying run and that was backed up by a passed ball, allowing Tina Velazquez to score. Ally Carver walked and wisely got caught in a rundown, giving Rubio enough time to score and give the Panthers a 4-2 lead. 

Murphy (1-2) was done after four innings, giving way to Velazquez in the fifth. Velazquez walked one and struck out one in the fifth and got out of the inning with a caught stealing. 

Florida Tech would put the game away in the top of the sixth. Carver walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Katie Maiello. After Alexus Smith reached on a fielders choice and stole second, Szrom came up with two on and promptly deposited a 1-1 pitch from Penney over the center field wall, giving the Panthers a commanding 7-2 lead. 

Velazquez would strike out two batters in the bottom of the sixth and issue a two-out walk in the seventh before she got the final out. She walked three and struck out three, picking up her second save.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Lee Box Score 

Florida Tech beat West Florida in game two of the day later Friday night. 

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