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Sailfish Sink Panthers in Series Opener

Header pic: Cheyenne Nelson

The Panthers’ trip to West Palm Beach didn’t start like they had hoped as the PBA Sailfish won 8-6 on Friday night in the first game of a Sunshine State Conference softball series.

Florida Tech (19-9, 5-5 SSC) had eight hits in the game with Mikayla Lewin going 2-for-3 with a run scored and Tori Szrom ending the night 2-for-4 with a run scored. Cheyenne Nelson doubled to lead off the top of the sixth, extending her hitting streak to 12 games. 

Things started well for the Panthers when Mikayla Wessel and Lewin singled off of PBA starter Cambria Arturo in the top of the first and both came home when Chloe French reached on an error.

Palm Beach Atlantic (8-8, 7-4 SSC) scored three times in the bottom of the second, helped by Panthers starter Alex Hendrian walking the first three batters, throwing 11 straight balls. She did pick up a strikeout before walking in a run. Daylin Hejtmanek’s single tied the game at two, and Samantha Guider took over for Hendrian. A groundout scored the third run of the inning, putting the Sailfish up 3-2.

Hendrian was charged with three runs in 1 ⅓ innings giving up one hit, walking four, and striking out two. She threw 37 pitches, 19 for strikes.

Florida Tech regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Szrom doubled off the wall and went to third on an error that allowed Whitney Ellis to reach when the first baseman tried to tag her with the glove but had the ball on her bare hand. Ashley Campbell would make the Sailfish pay when she doubled in two runs. Campbell would eventually score on an error at third base, putting the Panthers back in front, 5-3.

The Sailfish came back to score five runs in the bottom of the frame with a sac fly, Meredith Milam singled home a run and another scored on an error. They also had a run come home on a double steal and the home team went up 8-5 by the end of the inning.

The Panthers scored in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Ellis, but that would be all they would get the rest of the way.

For more info: Florida Tech @ PBA Box Score

Guider (7-4) gave up six hits in 4.2 innings. She allowed 5 runs (four earned) while striking out three and walking one. Of her 77 pitches thrown, 51 were strikes.

The series wraps up tomorrow (Saturday) with a doubleheader beginning at noon.