Header pic: Cheyenne Nelson – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
The Florida Tech softball team struggled in their season opener on Saturday, losing to Emmanuel Lions, 10-3 in the opening game of the Bobcat Kickoff Classic in Milledgeville Georgia.
Florida Tech (0-1) had seven hits in the game with Cheyenne Nelson and Victoria Szrom leading the way with two each.
Dani Fairey (1-0) got the win in the circle for Emmanuel, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits.
The Lions got things started early against Florida Tech starter Samantha Guider. Seven hits and three stolen bases helped the Lions put up seven runs in the top of the first. Chloe Nadler, Lexi Jordan, Gabby Buffington, and Lily Shelton all had RBI singles in the inning. Glory Thompson hit into a fielder’s choice to make it 5-0, and a groundout by Ellee Varner resulted in two more runs to put Emmanuel up 7-0.
The Lions scored single runs in the second and the third, both RBIs went to Mackensie Hogan and Florida Tech was staring at a 9-0 deficit.
Guider pitched two innings, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits. She walked one and did not strike out a batter.
Freshman pitcher Alex Hendrian took over in the third inning and gave a good accounting of herself, pitching five innings, and allowing two runs on four hits. She walked one and struck out two.
With the run-rule staring them in the face, the Florida Tech offense got going in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Nelson was hit by a pitch. Chloe French singled to move her along and a walk to Mikayla Lewin loaded the bases.
Szrom came through with a two-run single that scored both Nelson and French and helped the Panthers avoid an early end to the game. They would add one more in the inning on a bases-loaded walk to Jolie Miracle, allowing Lewin to score and cut into the deficit, 9-3.
An RBI triple by Kyna Cheney in the top of the seventh got the Lions into double digits.
Florida Tech loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but came up empty.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Emmanuel Box Score (Bobcat Classic)
The Panthers thankfully won’t have long to dwell on this one. They will play Carson Newman Saturday evening. We will recap that game in another article.