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Szrom’s Walk-Off Bomb Highlights Panthers Split

Florida Tech scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh in game one Saturday to beat Lynn 7-4. They went down 5-0 early in game two and were unable to come all the way back, losing 5-3. The Panthers won the series two games to one.

For the second time this season, Tori Szrom came up with a big hit to give the Panthers a walk-off win. On February 9, she got the Panthers their first win of the season with a walk-off single, On Saturday, she raised the stakes with a three-run home run at Nancy Bottge Field giving the Panthers a 7-4 win in game one of the doubleheader.

Jordan Lawlis started game one in the circle, and her teammates got her a run in the bottom of the first. Cheyenne Nelson singled and went to second on an error. She was sacrificed to third and was chased home on a double by Tina Velazquez Rolon.

Ashley Campbell extended her hitting streak to eight games with a second inning double, but she was left on base.   Lynn would load the bases in the top of the third and Lawlis walked in a run to tie the game at one. The Fighting Knights would take the lead on a run-scoring error, but the Panthers were able to limit the damage to two runs.

Lynn added to their lead in the top of the fourth, as Kayla Sheffield executed the suicide squeeze to perfection, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead. That was the end of the day for Lawlis, who was replaced by Velazquez. Grasy Gomez greeted her with an RBI single, and the Fighting Knights were up 4-1.

That closed the book on Lawlis, who allowed four runs on five hits in 3.1 innings. She walked four and struck out four, throwing 90 pitches, 47 for strikes.

Lynn starting pitcher Olivia Saviskas was in control in this one, allowing five hits in the first six innings. Then the seventh happened. After Jaden Kline popped out, Whitney Ellis came up and hit her first career home run as a Panther, cutting the deficit to 4-2.

After Saviskas got the3 second out, Nelson doubled and went to third on a bunt single from Mikayla Wessel. After Wessel stole second, Velazquez Rolon hit a fly ball to right that was grabbed by the wind and pushed back toward the infield. The ball dropped, allowing two runs to score, and tie the game 4-4.

Velazquez would go to second on a passed ball, and Vanessa Rubio earned a walk, after taking ball four on the 11th pitch of her at-bat. That brought Szrom to the plate, and she jacked one over the left-center field wall and the Panthers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, scoring five runs with two outs.

Nelson and Velazquez Rolon each had 3-for-4 days in game one, with Velazquez Rolon knocking in three runs. Wessel had just one hit, but it was the biggest of the day, earning her three RBIs. Ellis had the other RBI on her home run.

For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)

Velazquez (7-4) got the win on Friday in game one of the series and she did so again in this game, pitching the final 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit, striking out two and not walking a batter. She threw 40 pitches, 29 for strikes.

After starting the season 0-7, with that win in game one, Florida Tech evened their record at 9-9 and improved to 7-1 in the Sunshine State Conference.

Unfortunately, the Panthers missed out on their chance to get over .500, as game two got away from them early, as Lynn got to Florida Tech starter Raychel Trocki for three runs in the first inning. Gomez and Emily Yakel had RBI singles and the third run scored on the first of five errors in this game by the Panthers.

Lynn (7-12, 1-8 SSC) got two more runs in the second. Lexi Butler reached on an error and later scored on a Gomez single. With the Panthers down 4-1, Trocki was pulled in favor of Rolon. The Fighting Knights loaded the bases and Makenzie Wyatt’s walk allowed Gomez to score with Lynn’s fifth run.

The Panthers (9-10, 7-2 SSC) got a run back in the bottom of the second. Szrom and Kline singled and both moved up on a passed ball. A sac fly by Campbell made it 5-1.

Florida Tech made a dent in the Lynn lead in the third inning. Nelson singled and stole second, moving to third on a Wessel single. Rubio brought them both in with a two-run single, and it was 5-3.

Lynn starter Allyson Jameston then retired eight in a row, before a double by Szrom, making it 13 games in a row that she has reached base. A double play ended the inning after pinch-runner Rachel Kraak over slid third base, ending the inning.

Lynn hung on from there, snapping a seven-game losing streak with the victory.

Nelson, Wessel, Velazquez, and Rubio each had one hit at the top of the Panthers lineup. Szrom the number five batter in the order was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)

The Panthers will host Tiffin (OH) on Thursday in a doubleheader at Nancy Bottge Field. Game one will get underway at 4:00 p.m.