The Florida Tech softball team extended their win streak to nine games Saturday with a 9-5 win over Lynn in the first game of a doubleheader and an equally impressive 9-4 win in game two.
Tina Velazquez went 5-for-7 on the day, with a home run and two RBIs. She also won both games in relief, improving her pitching record to 4-0. Cheyenne Nelson went 4-for-8 with an RBI.
In game one the Panthers (10-2, 3-0 SSC) had to claw from behind as Lynn put up three runs in the bottom of the first, against Jordan Lawlis. She lasted just 2/3rds of an inning, giving up an RBI single to Natalie Costero and a two-run double to Sophia Devesa.
Velazquez took over in the circle and got out of the inning without further damage. Lynn added a run on a Kayla Sheffield solo home run in the bottom of the third, and that gave the Fighting Knights a 4-0 lead.
Velazquez would end up giving coach Val Silvestrini 6.1 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits. She would throw 60 of her 88 pitches for strikes.
The Panthers would start their comeback in the top of the fourth. Ally Carver led off with a double and came home on a Jaden Kline base hit. Victoria Szrom would bring her home with a double, cutting the Lynn lead to 4-2. Szrom would move to third on a ground out and she scored when Lexi Bettermann reached on a fielding error, making it a 4-3 game.
Lynn (8-5, 0-3) would add a run in the bottom of the fourth on a Makayla Caballero single. That run would be unearned, after an error earlier in the inning.
Florida Tech went back to work in the top of the fifth. After back-to-back singles by Velazquez and Carver, Lynn starter Allyson Jameston was lifted for Sheffield. Kline’s grounder moved both runners up and was followed by a two-run single by Smith, scoring Velazquez and Katrina Hand, who pinch-ran for Carver, and tied the game 5-5.
A double by Szrom made it 6-5 Panthers and Shanysse Emerenciana backed that up with an RBI single, capping off a four-run frame for the Panthers and giving the visitors a 7-5 lead.
The Panthers insurance runs came in the top of the seventh. An RBI triple from Emerenciana scored pinch-runner Rachel Kraak and Emerenciana would score the final run of the day, when Bettermann singled her home.
The Panthers would end up with 14 hits in this one, including a 3-for-4 day from Emerenciana who knocked in two runs and scored one. Nelson, Velazquez, Carver, and Szrom all had two hits each.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score (Game 1)
Xiarysse Emerenciana picked up where her sister left off in game two, as she went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored in game two.
The Panthers were able to get on the board in the top of the fourth. Kline singled to start the frame but
Melanie Murphy was in the circle for the Panthers in the second game and she threw 3.1 innings of no-hit ball, but she ran into trouble in the fourth, as the Panthers comitted two errors, leading to two Lynn runs and a tie game.
Murphy went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits and walked one. She threw 68 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Florida Tech regained the lead in the lead in the fifth as the Emerenciana show continued when Xiarysse singled and stole second. She later came home on a double by Velazquez, making it a 3-2 game.
The lead didn’t last long, as Mia Velez tied the game in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a wild pitch. A Devesa single later in the frame would put Lynn up 4-3.
The Panthers put together a two-out rally in the sixth, helped by the Emerenciana’s speed. Shanysse reached first on an error and was sacrificed to second. Xiarysse followed with a single and she got into a rundown, giving her sister enough time to score, tying the game at four. A double to right off the bat of Nelson, made it 5-4 Panthers.
Velazquez, who picked up her fourth win of the season in this game and second of the day, helped herself offensively, leading off the seventh with a solo blast to center field, making it a 6-4 game. Carver, Kline, and Szrom all had singles in the inning and with the bases loaded, Shanysse was hit by a pitch, giving the Panthers a three-run lead. Xiarysse would single in two more runs with a single, making it 9-4.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Lynn Box Score (Game 2)
Florida Tech will take their win streak into the Florida Tech Invitational at the USSSA Space Coast Complex. The Panthers will play Georgia College at 4:00 p.m. Friday and take on Columbus State University at 6:30 p.m.