Melanie Murphy picked up her 8th victory of the season Friday at Tampa. Cindy Rieber

Melanie Murphy threw a complete-game four-hitter Friday night, leading the 20th-ranked Florida Tech softball team to a 2-0 win at Tampa, in this weekend’s series opener.

Murphy (8-4) went the distance for the seventh time this season. She struck out two and did not walk a batter, throwing 92 pitches, 62 for strikes. She now has an earned run average of 2.13.

With the victory, the Panthers improved to 19-4 overall and 5-2 in the SSC. It is the third win in a row for FIT.

This was a pitchers’ duel throughout, with Tampa’s Makaleigh Dooley giving up two unearned runs in the fourth inning. She took the loss, despite a complete-game effort that included eight strikeouts. This was her 10th complete game of the season in 12 starts.

Tina Velazquez got Florida Tech’s fourth inning started with her first triple of the season. Two outs later, Ally Carver hit a ball to short that Stephanie Balmer had trouble with, allowing Velazquez to score and Carver to reach first. That brought Alexus Smith to the plate and she hit a frozen rope off the glove of Lauren Pascoe in right. The ball skipped away, allowing Carver to score all the way from first.

The Spartans committed three errors in the game, while the Panthers were clean in the field behind Murphy, who allowed back-to-back singles in the second inning to Bailey Phillips, and Lexie Chevalier, before working out of the jam. Cristina Clauberg got the third Tampa hit in the third, with an infield single.

The final Spartans hit came in the fifth inning of the bat of Maddie Farrell. That came after Murphy had retired six Spartans in a row. She would bounce back, sending the last seven Tampa batters down in order to end the game.

Offensively, Cheyenne Nelson had three of the six Panther hits. She went 3-for-4 with a double. Velazquez had her triple, while Carver and Smith had the singles that brought the Florida Tech runs home.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Tampa Box Score 

Florida Tech will look to continue their winning ways Saturday, as they face Tampa in a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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