The Florida Tech Panthers (2-2) put an exclamation point on their trip to Georgia this weekend for the Bobcat Classic. After picking up their first win of the season against Carson-Newman Sunday morning, they immediately followed that with an 18-3 win over host Georgia College.
Kelsie Rivers (1-0) made the start for the Panthers in this one, her second appearance of the weekend. She allowed one baserunner in the first two innings and after the Panthers’ offense left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, they got things going in a big way in the top of the third, putting six runs on the board.
Ella Chang Gibson singled with one out. A walk to Jolie Miracle and a passed ball put runners at second and third for Allison Platon. She promptly singled, bringing both runs home to put the Panthers up 2-0.
An Ashley Campbell single forced a pitching change for the Bobcats, as Brayden Latimer relieved starter Macy Banks. Kelly McLaughlin singled to make it 3-0 and an error brought another run in. Chloe French would pull off a successful squeeze for the fifth run, and an RBI groundout by Tori Szrom produced the final run of the inning.
Georgia College scored their first run in the bottom of the inning thanks to a triple by Carlie Behan. They threatened for more in the fourth with runners on first and second, but MacKenzie Hoffman lined out to Gibson who made a nice catch to keep the Bobcats from adding on.
An error led to another run in the fifth for the Panthers, who were up 7-1. Samantha Guider was then called on to pitch the bottom of the fifth, taking over for Rivers, who was done after four solid innings that saw her allow just the one run. She walked two and struck out three, throwing 59 pitches.
Guider, who threw four innings and got the win against Carson Newman earlier in the day, was credited with a save in this game.
Florida Tech added two more runs in their half of the sixth after they loaded the bases again. Pinch hitter Lexi Clark was hit by a pitch and Gibson earned a walk, extending the Panthers lead to 9-1.
After Georgia College answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to avoid the run-rule, the Florida Tech offense exploded for nine runs in the top of the seventh.
McLaughlin, Cheyenne Nelson, and Clark had RBI singles early in the inning to make it 12-2. Gibson knocked in two more with a single, and Jolie Miracle had a hit to make it 15-2. Whitney Ellis who came into the game late contributed with a two-run single of her own, and the final run was courtesy of a Campbell base-knock.
Guider allowed an RBI hot to Carlie Behan in the bottom of the seventh, but avoided further damage and help the Panthers to the big win. She allowed two runs (one earned) in her three innings of work, giving up four hits and striking out one while throwing 47 pitches.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Georgia College Box Score
The Panthers had 19 hits in this one, with Gibson and Campbell leading the parade with three hits and three RBIs each.
The Florida Tech Invitational kicks off on Friday in Cocoa. The Panthers will play Wingate at Noon and Bentley College around 2:30 p.m. at the Launch Pad Sports Complex. The tournament will run through the weekend, with the Panthers scheduled to play two games on Saturday and Sunday as well.