The Florida Tech softball team got their first win of the season on Sunday, and they did it in exciting fashion. Victoria Szrom’s infield single scored Ashley Campbell and the Panthers got a 6-5 walk-off win over West Alabama, putting an exclamation point on the second annual Florida Tech Invitational.
The Panthers (1-7) pounded out a season-high 11 hits on Sunday, with Cheyenne Nelson, Jaden Kline, Campbell, and Mikayla Wessel getting two each.
Jordan Lawlis got the start for the Panthers in the circle. She allowed two runs (one earned) and three hits in 3.1 innings. She walked four and struck out two, throwing 62 pitches.
West Alabama (3-6) got the scoring started in the top of the first when Chrissy Tubbs, scoring Abby McKee who singled earlier in the inning.
Campbell started the bottom of the second with a single. She later stole second and went to third on a Rachel Kraak groundout. Wessel then pulled off a bunt single and Campbell scored. Wessel kept going, as she moved to second on the throw and when the catcher couldn’t handle the throw, she came around to score, giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
After getting the first out in the fourth, Lawlis allowed a walk and a single. That prompted coach Val Silvestrini to call on Tina Velasquez Rolon to get out of trouble. She did allow an unearned run after an error on the infield allowed the tying run to score.
The Panthers were hurt again by their fielding woes in this one, committing three errors. That brings the Panthers season total to 22, but unlike the past seven games, it did not keep the Panthers out of the win column on Sunday.
Florida Tech would take the lead again in the bottom of the frame. Kraak drew a one-out walk and stole second. Wessel grounded out moving her to third, and Nelson then smacked a double to left, making it 3-2.
The lead didn’t last long, as the Tigers answered with three runs in the fifth. Tubbs scored McKee with a single, tying the game 3-3. A single by Caleigh Wallace, combined with an error in the outfield allowed two runs to score, and UWA took a 5-3 lead.
The Panthers got one back in the bottom of the inning on a sac fly by Szrom, who came in as a pinch-hitter allowing pinch-runner Peyton Anders to scamper home, making it 5-4.
After Velazquez Rolon got through the sixth unscathed, Wessel and Nelson hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the inning. A sac bunt by Ally Carver moved both runners up, and Kline’s RBI sac fly scored Wessel with the tying run.
West Alabama stranded a runner at second in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for dramatics in the bottom of the frame. Campbell singled with one out and stole second. That brought Szrom to the plate and her infield single was enough to get Campbell home and get the Panthers into the win column for the first time this season.
Velasquez Rolon (1-2) got the win for the Panthers giving up three runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. She did not walk a batter and struck out one, throwing 36 pitches.
For more info: West Alabama @ Florida Tech Box Score
The Panthers will open their home season on Friday against Florida Southern College, who beat #4 West Florida 1-0 on Sunday. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and will be the first official game under the lights at Nancy Bottge Field.