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Panthers Pounce on Barry Early in Win

Shanysse Emerenciana hit a three-run home run in Friday’s series opener against Barry. Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown

The Florida Tech Panthers (24-7, 8-5 SSC) made quick work of the Barry Buccaneers on Friday, winning 10-0 in five innings at Nancy Bottge Field.

Melanie Murphy (12-5) got the start in the circle for Florida Tech and pitched three perfect innings, before giving way to Tina Velazquez for the final two. Murphy was in control and very economical, striking out two, throwing only 29 pitches, 19 for strikes.

Offensively, FIT struck early, scoring one run in the first inning and six in the second. They sewed up the victory with three more in the third. Jaden Kline led the Panthers 12-hit attack, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Vanessa Rubio had a 3-for-3 day as well, driving in two and scoring two more. Xiarysse Emerenciana went 2-for-2, scoring three runs and driving in one.

Gabby Vallee got the start for Barry and she ran into immediate trouble, giving up a single to Cheyenne Nelson, who was caught stealing. Vallee then walked Emerenciana and Tina Velazquez. A single by Rubio loaded the bases and Kline got her day off to a good start with an RBI single. Vallee got the last two outs, leaving the bases loaded.

Mikayla Wessel‘s single got the second inning started. She eventually scored on an Emerenciana single, giving the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Rubio’s RBI single made it 3-0 and Kline’s RBI double ended the day for Vallee, who gave way to Andrea Johnson. She was greeted by a Shanysse Emerenciana three-run homer. Just like that, it was 7-0.

Rubio’s RBI single in the third knocked home Xiarysse Emerenciana and Kline put it out of reach for good with a two-run single, making it 10-0.

Barry (11-25, 4-9 SSC) got their first hit with one out in the fourth, on a Savannah Starling single. Their second hit came in the fifth, another single by Berlin Colvin. Those were the only two hits Velazquez would allow, as she got a ground ball double play to end the game off the bat of Fallon Dragich. Velazquez threw just 21 pitches, including 16 strikes.

For more info: Barry @ Florida Tech Box Score

The early ending to this one means that the Panthers will be set up well for Saturday’s doubleheader, as Murphy and Velazquez had minimal work in the circle on Friday. The first pitch of Saturday’s double-dip is set for 1:00 p.m.