The Florida Tech Panthers split a softball doubleheader with Embry-Riddle on Thursday, winning game one 5-3 before losing game two 7-6 in nine innings, despite a dramatic late comeback.
Mikayla Wessel reached base in both games, extending her on-base streak to 12 straight games. She was at the top of a lineup that had seven hits in game one. Tori Szrom went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Samantha Guider (13-6 went the distance in game one, giving up three runs on nine hits. She walked two and struck out one, throwing 92 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Florida Tech scored four times in the bottom of the first. Cheyenne Nelson was hit by a pitch and stole second. She scored on a single by Chloe French who went to second on the throw home. After Mikayla Lewin was hit by a pitch, Szrom rocketed a two-run double off the wall in right to put her team up 3-0. One out later, Jolie Miracle knocked in Szrom, snapping an 0-for-9 drought and giving the Panthers a fourth run.
In the bottom of the third, Lewin singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Miracle, staking the Panthers to a 5-0 lead.
ERAU got on the board in the top of the fourth. Karina Ortiz-Munoz doubled and would later score on Kelsey Kressler’s single. A two-run double by Ortiz-Munoz in the seventh got the Eagles closer, but Guider got Lauren Latoria to line out with a runner on third to end the game.
For more info: ERAU @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)
The Panthers had only five hits in game two, taking advantage of some Embry-Riddle mistakes in a seventh inning that saw them score four runs and send the game to extra innings. Wessel had three of the hits, going 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Alex Hendrian got the start in game two, throwing eight innings and getting a no-decision. She allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits, walking two and striking out one. She threw 65 of her 102 pitches for strikes.
The Eagles 22-10, 14-6 SSC) got on the board in the top of the first on an RBI single off the bat of Reanne Drayton, scoring Mahaliyah Sandridge who doubled to start the inning.
Wessel got that run back in the bottom of the first when she dropped down a bunt single, stole second, and stole third. The catcher tried to throw her out at third but the throw was wild, allowing her to score.
Sandridge doubled with the bases loaded in the fourth, driving in two runs and putting the visitors up 3-1.
Lewin made noise again in the fourth when she singled and stole second. Ella Chang Gibson flew out to get her to third and she eventually scored on a Miracle RBI single to close the gap to 3-2.
An error and a fielder’s choice got the Eagles going in the seventh before a Drayton single made it 5-2. Ortiz-Munoz made it 6-2 with a single.
Florida Tech (30-18, 13-13 SSC) did not go quietly, taking advantage of a hit by pitch and a walk to start the bottom of the seventh. Nelson’s sac fly made it 6-3, and an RBI single by French cut the deficit to two. Lewin was hit by a pitch and Szrom later knocked in a run with a single, getting it to 6-5. After Gibson singled to load the bases, Miracle drew a walk to bring in Lewin with the tying run.
Wessel was at it again in the eighth getting on with a one-out single. She stole second and the ball went into center field. There was nothing immediately evident, but she was called out for interference, taking the potential winning run off the bases.
Guider (13-7) came out to pitch the ninth in relief of Hendrian. Sandridge singled to start the inning, and eventually scored on Drayton’s infield single, giving the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Florida Tech looked to come back again in the bottom of the ninth, with Lewin and Szrom each drawing one-out walks. Gibson reached on an error to load the bases, but Miracle’s groundout drew a throw to the plate in time to cut down Lewin. A fly ball would follow, ending the game and keeping the Panthers from a dramatic sweep.
For more info: Embry-Riddle @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)
The series concludes tomorrow (Friday) with a single game at 2:00 p.m.