Flagler Saints pitcher Kyra Gipson was one pitch away from history on Wednesday, giving up an infield single to Shanysse Emerenciana in the top of the seventh, en route to a 4-0 shutout of 10th-ranked Florida Tech.
Gipson was on all night. giving up only a walk to Ally Carver in the second inning and a walk to Tina Velazquez, leading off the fourth. Velazquez was the Panthers first baserunner of the night, reaching on a dropped fly ball in the second. She would be stranded at second twice in the game. That’s as far as any Panther would get.
Velazquez (9-3) got the start in the circle for Florida Tech and got out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the first inning, only to run into trouble again in the second. Flagler would get on the board thanks to a Garland Evans RBI double. She would be chased home on a single by Tatum Morgan, making it 2-0.
Velazquez would get the first two batters in the bottom of the fourth on strikes, but she walked Evans in a tough 10-pitch at-bat and gave up an RBI double to Morgan. Natalie Murphy would then come up and dump a single just over first base and just inside the line, probably not more than 70 feet from home plate. That made it 4-0.
That was the end of the night for Velazquez, who went 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. She walked four and struck out four. Jordan Lawlis would come in and get Maria Kappos to line one back to the circle, that went off Lawlis’ glove and over to Emerenciana at short, who threw her out.
Meanwhile, Gipson retired nine in a row since the Velazquez walk, getting her to the seventh inning. She would get Vanessa Rubio to fly out and Jaden Kline on strikes. That brought Shanysse to the plate and Gipson had two strikes on her before she lined one to short that was fielded, but the throw was late, and Emerenciana stood at first, while Gipson pondered what might have been, as she was one pitch away from etching her name in the record books.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Flagler Box Score
Florida Tech (26-8) returns home Friday to start a weekend series against the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish. The series kicks off Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Nancy Bottge Field.