The Tampa Spartans (10-4, 4-0 SSC) hung on for a 3-1 win Friday night against the Florida Tech Panthers (10-6, 2-2 SSC in the series opener at Nancy Bottge Field.
The 13th-ranked Spartans scored three times in the fourth inning and made that hold up.
Alex Hendrian got the start for the Panthers and struck out two in the top of the first. Mikayla Wessel walked to start the Panthers’ night at the plate and proceeded to steal second and third, before being left stranded.
With no score heading into the top of the fourth, Corynn Miner was called on to pinch-hit and paid immediate dividends, hitting a home run. A single and two walks then loaded the bases for the Spartans and Avery Perkins’ two-run single, making it 3-0.
Florida Tech started the bottom of the fourth with a double off the bat of Mikayla Lewin. Ella Chang Gibson moved her to third and the Panthers would load the bases with two outs, but couldn’t push a run across.
They would get a run in the bottom of the fifth. Wessel led off with a bunt single and moved to second on a groundout. Chloe French would double her home, closing the gap to 3-1.
Ashley Campbell singled in the sixth inning and Lewin singled in the seventh for the Panthers, but they were both stranded in those innings.
Hendrian (2-2) pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs. She walked three and struck out three, throwing 72 pitches (40 strikes). Sam Guider went 3.2 innings behind her, allowing four hits and striking out one. She threw 26 of her 33 pitches for strikes.
Mary Beth Feldman pitched 4.1 innings and got the win for the Spartans. Mariah Galhouse pitched 2.2 innings to earn the save. She struck out three Panthers.
For more info: Tampa @ Florida Tech Box Score
The series continues on Saturday with a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.