Florida Tech Captures Season Series Against Flagler
By Florida Tech // February 25, 2013
FIT Travels To Meet Tampa On Friday
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech (9-10) overcame a run-rule loss in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader against 15th-ranked Flagler (12-5) to win the series finale, 4-3, at Nancy Bottge Field.
With the win, the Panthers take the season series, 2-1. Their first victory over Flagler came exactly two weeks ago on Feb. 10 at the Eckerd College Invitational. At the time, the Saints were ranked 13th in NCAA Division II and FIT won, 3-2.
Flagler began the day with a 9-1 win in six innings. Four of those runs came off the bat of pinch hitter Tori Jolley as she hit a grand slam with two outs in the fourth inning.
Katie Enright (5-1) surrendered her only run in the first inning. After that point, she allowed a Panther to reach second base only once the remainder of the game.
The Saints struck first in game two, scoring two runs in the third inning. Kara Dickinson answered in the bottom half with a solo home run, her first of the season and sixth of her career. Taylor Peterson tied the game at two with a leadoff home run, her first of her career, in the fourth.
Elaine Brown set the table for the Panthers’ go-ahead two-run inning in the fifth with a single through the left side of the infield. She then moved to second base on a base hit by Dickinson. As Flagler tried to pick off Dickinson at first base, Brown swiped third for her eighth steal of the season.
With runners on first and third and no outs, the Saints had Dickinson out at second on an attempted steal, but the infielder couldn’t hang on to the throw, allowing Brown to score. Dickinson reached third base on the play and scored on a sacrifice fly to short left-center field by Peterson.
Trailing by two in the seventh, Flagler loaded the bases for Jolley yet again. A wild pitch enabled Marissa Blake to score from third, however, Amanda Smith forced Jolley to pop out to end the game. In the fifth inning, she relieved her sister Taylor Smith with the score tied at two and base runners on second and third. With Jolley at-bat, Amanda Smith recorded a ground out to end the threat.
“Game two was a great comeback, although I don’t think we played bad in game one,” head coach Val Silvestrini said. “They hit the ball really well and capitalized on the situations they had. We threw a bad pitch with the bases loaded and they hit a grand slam.
“We came back and hit the ball hard. Every inning, we were getting better. We were seeing the ball better and hitting it better. We had a great performance in the pitcher’s circle starting with Taylor [Smith]. Amanda [Smith] came in with runners on second and third and recorded a big out for us. I feel that we got stronger from that situation and found a way to win this game. It was a great win. Flagler’s a great team. It’s good to win two out of three from them. That tells us we can be a top 25 team.”
The Panthers will open Sunshine State Conference play with a three-game series at sixth-ranked Tampa starting on Friday. The Panthers and Spartans will meet for a single game at 6 p.m. and return for a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
The next time FIT will play at Nancy Bottge Field is March 5 when it opens a 10-game homestand versus Nova Southeastern.