Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup

By  //  March 31, 2014

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Baseball Swept by Saint Leo

With the bad weather out of the way, the Florida Tech Panthers and Saint Leo Lions continued their Sunshine State Conference series Sunday. The teams completed the first game that was suspended Saturday, and played a final seven inning game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Lions not only came back to win the first game 11-9, they took the second contest as well 3-0.

With the bad weather out of the way, the Florida Tech Panthers and Saint Leo Lions continued their Sunshine State Conference series Sunday. The teams completed the first game that was suspended Saturday, and played a final seven inning game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Lions not only came back to win the first game 11-9, they took the second contest as well 3-0. (Florida Tech image)

With the bad weather out of the way, the Florida Tech Panthers and Saint Leo Lions continued their Sunshine State Conference series Sunday. The teams completed the first game that was suspended Saturday, and played a final seven inning game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Lions not only came back to win the first game 11-9, they took the second contest as well 3-0. (Florida Tech image)

“We have to stop beating ourselves,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier. “We have to make plays when we have to make plays, and make pitches when we have to make pitches. We have to make adjustments offensively, and do a better job being able to score runs. You have to be able to play fundamental baseball, and we are not doing that right now. Saint Leo played well, and pitched well.”

Greg Berkemeier

Greg Berkemeier

The first game resumed in the top of the eighth. Down by a run, the Lions were able to tie the game at 9-9 in the ninth, which sent the contest into extra innings.

The Lion’s offense put two runs on the board in the 10th inning. Cole Stancil brought in the go-ahead run with a double to right-center. Zachary Gary then brought home a second run with a base hit up the middle. The Panthers could not mount a rally in the bottom half of the 10th, and the Lions earned the 11-9 victory.

Jerrod Leinhauser

Jerrod Leinhauser

Junior Jerrod Leinhauser (3-3) suffered the loss for the Panthers. Leinhauser pitched 2.1 innings, gave up three runs with two being earned, and walked three.

Brandon Terry (3-3) earned the win. Terry pitched three innings without giving up a run, and allowed just one hit. Neither team scored in the first three innings of game two. The Lions (19-12, 3-6 SSC) were first on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth. Alex Mata scored Dylan Harris with a base hit to right-center. Stancil then brought in the second run of the inning with base hit up the middle. The Lions added another run in the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead.

Grant Willcoxon

Grant Willcoxon

The Panthers (19-15, 3-9 SSC) could not find their offensive rhythm, as they managed just two hits for the game. The squad left just one runner on base, as the Lions completed the sweep with the 3-0 win.

Terry (4-3) picked up his second win of the day. He pitched the full seven innings, and did not allow a run on two hits. Terry also struck out eight batters. Freshman Grant Willcoxon (2-3) was hit with the loss for the Panthers. He pitched the full seven innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, and struck out one.

Florida Southern Slips by Florida Tech in Extra Innings

Florida Tech lost two extra-inning games to Florida Southern on Sunday at Nancy Bottge Field, 2-1 in 10 innings and 4-2 in 14 innings. With the two wins, the Moccasins sweep the three-game Sunshine State Conference series. Florida Southern is now 21-11 overall and 7-5 in league play. FIT drops to 22-17 on the season and 7-8 in the SSC.

Taylor Smith gave the Panthers 13 strong innings on Sunday against Florida Southern. (Florida Tech image)

Taylor Smith gave the Panthers 13 strong innings on Sunday against Florida Southern. (Florida Tech image)

Game one of the doubleheader was suspended Saturday with the score tied at one in the seventh inning. On Sunday, the Moccasins had the go-ahead run in Heather Brinkmeier standing on third base with two outs in the ninth. With Kylee Stearns at-bat, catcher Nicole Shinsky picked off Brinkmeier to end the threat.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith

However, in the 10th, Stearns reached base on a single. She scored the eventual game-winning run on a base hit by Jessica Lanci. Lanci’s hit was one of 11 base hits for Florida Southern. Moccasin starter Brandi Jones (10-4) limited the Panthers to six hits, and she stranded seven base runners for her 10th win of the season.

Taylor Smith (7-8) received the loss after pitching a total of 10 innings. She didn’t walk a single batter and struck out five.

Rachel Pence

Rachel Pence

Smith made her second appearance of the day in relief of starter Rachel Pence in game two.

Trailing 2-1 in the sixth,Ashley Montion singled in pinch runner Ember Wells to tie the game.

Ashley Montion

Ashley Montion

After Florida Southern starter Chelsea Oglevie stranded a Panther on first base in the seventh, the Moccasins loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. At the time, third baseman Taylor Peterson made the play of the game for FIT. She fielded a ground ball in front of third base and tagged Brinkmeier as she started running home. Peterson then threw behind to shortstop Brigit Godfrey, who was covering third for a double play.

Brigit Godfrey

Brigit Godfrey

Hannah Loyer relieved Oglevie in the 11th inning and didn’t allow a FIT runner past second base. Smith was just as good through 13 innings, but an error to the lead off hitter in the 14th inning led to two unearned runs.

Loyer (2-1) finished her outing by not allowing any runs in the bottom of the 14th for her second win. Smith (7-9) was tagged with the loss despite giving up two runs, both were unearned, in nine innings.

Elaine Brown went 3-for-5 with two walks to lead the Panthers in game two. FIT will play its last three home games of the season next weekend against Rollins. The Panthers and Tars will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and meet once more on Sunday at 1 p.m. Amanda Bueno and Kelsey Donahue will be recognized prior to Sunday’s game as part of Senior Day.

No. 7 Saint Leo Earns 8-1 Victory over No. 37 Florida Tech

No. 7 Saint Leo University (14-3, 3-2 SSC) recorded its 12th straight win with an 8-1 victory over No. 37 Florida Tech (10-10, 1-5 SSC) on Sunday morning at the DeSoto Tennis Courts.

Natasa Vukovic

Natasa Vukovic

The match resumed with the Lions leading 3-1 after storms in the area postponed yesterday’s game.

Natasa Vukovic and Meritt Rabson nearly upset No. 24 Paula Montoya and Anastasia Wagner in doubles No. 1 but fell 8-6.

Meritt Rabson

Meritt Rabson

Chloe Chanley and Jessica Widmark went toe to toe with Laura Kemkes and Pauline Helgesson in doubles No. 2 but Saint Leo’s tandem put a halt to FIT’s run to earn an 8-6 victory.

The Lions picked up an 8-1 win in doubles No. 3 to head into singles play leading 3-0.

Aly Ruschak won by default in singles No. 6, and Vukovic battled Coralie Presenti in flight No. 1 but Presenti earned a tiebreaking victory, 3-6, 6-1, 14-12, over the Panthers’ leading singles player.

Bill Macom

Bill Macom

“We competed well enough today to make it much closer than the final score dictates,” said head coach Bill Macom. “If we were able to win the first two doubles matches yesterday before the rain came, this would have been a different match. We have worked hard in the last few weeks and now have some time between contests to improve our weaknesses as best we can.”

The Panthers have a two-week break before closing out the season with a road contest at No. 10 Florida Southern on Friday, April 11 and its regular season finale versus No. 8 Rollins College on April 15 at DeSoto.


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