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Rubio Leads Panthers to Victory

Vanessa Rubio James Ragan Photography

Florida Tech softball picked up their third straight win Friday night, beating Embry-Riddle 4-2 in the opening game of a three-game series in Daytona.

Vanessa Rubio finished the day 2-for-2, knocking in two runs with RBI doubles in the third and fifth innings. Of the Panthers seven hits on Friday, four were doubles.

Melanie Murphy (10-5) got the start in the circle for Florida Tech, going the distance and picking up her 10th win of the season.

The Panthers (22-6, 6-4 SSC) got on the board early in this one, getting a run in the top of the first. Eagles pitcher Jayla Jackson walked Cheyenne Nelson to start the game and after she was sacrificed to second by Xiarysse Emerenciana, there was an out recorded, before Rubio was hit by a pitch. That brought up Jaden Kline, who chased Nelson home with a double, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

An error led to a run in the top of the second. Maggie Scott reached when Murphy couldn’t make a play at first and she eventually came around to score on a Katy Thompson single, tying the contest.

Florida Tech regained the lead in the third after Nelson singled to start the inning. She scored from there, when Rubio roped a double down the line in left, making it a 2-1 game. The lead didn’t last long, as Embry-Riddle tied the game in the bottom of the inning, on a double by Meritxell Blesa, knotting the game at two.

Embry-Riddle (12-10, 5-5 SSC) threatened in the bottom of the fourth getting a runner to third, but Murphy got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

Emerenciana got the Panthers started in the fifth with a bunt single, she then stole second and went to third on a sacrifice fly by Tina Velazquez. She would score on Rubio’s second double of the day, and the Panthers took a 3-2 lead.

FIT would pick up an insurance run in the sixth when Shanysse Emerenciana doubled to start the inning and went to third on a sac bunt by Alexus Smith. A sac fly by Mikayla Wessel made it a 4-2 game.

Murphy allowed one hit in both the sixth and seventh innings, but the Eagles never really threatened down the stretch. Murphy did allow eight hits and two runs (one earned) against the Eagles, but she did not walk a batter and struck out six. She threw 109 pitches, 75 for strikes.

For more info: Florida Tech @ Embry-Riddle Box Score 

The series wraps up tomorrow with a doubleheader. Game one is set to get underway at 1:00 p.m.