Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup
By Space Coast Daily // April 7, 2014
Women’s Golf Competes in Final Regular Season Tournament
The No. 3 Florida Tech Panthers will compete in a final regular season tournament this week when they take part in the U.S. Women’s Invitational in Charlotte, N.C. The two-day event is hosted by Belmont Abbey College, and will be played at Pine Island Country Club.
The Panthers last competed at the Lady Bucs Invitational back on March 17-18, and the squad finished fifth out of 10 teams. This year, the Panthers return to the U.S. Women’s Invitational as the defending team champion. Former Panther Jessica Hook won the individual championship in 2013 as a senior.
The U.S. Women’s Invitational begins Monday with the first two rounds of play. The third and final round will be played Tuesday morning. After the U.S. Women’s Invitational, the women will join up with the Panther men for the 2014 Sunshine State Conference Golf Championships.
The SSC Championships take place April 12-15 at Lake Jovita Golf Club in Dade City, Fla.
Rowing Performs Well at State Championships
Florida Tech’s men’s and women’s rowing teams concluded the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships on Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park.
The men earned wins in the varsity eight and junior varsity eight events in the final day of racing. The varsity eight led by coxswain Jessica Mellinger, stroke Jose Gomez-Feria, Ernestas Zarskis, Carson Green, Mindaugas Beliauskas,Kevin Coyle, John Martin, Andrew Konecny and bow Joe Horn won by 15 seconds at 5:53.8. Georgia Tech, Rollins, Jacksonville, Florida, Florida State and USF finished second through seventh, in order.
In the following men’s event, the junior varsity eight, the Panthers beat Jacksonville and Rollins with a time of 6:05.2. Jacksonville was the next closest boat, coming in 6.2 seconds behind FIT, and Rollins was 9.3 seconds behind. Racing for the Panthers were coxswain Katherine Hausrath, stroke Alec Bertossa, Martynas Mickus,Strahinja Markovic, Henry Walch, Clay Mathieu, Marko Milovanovic,Paul Kepinski and bow Batuhan Cakici.
The women’s varsity eight earned bronze in the second race of the day at 7:11.1. Nova Southeastern won the event at 6:50.5. Jacksonville was second by 1.6 seconds. Rollins, Stetson and Florida crossed the finish line after the Panthers. Competing for FIT were coxswain Sam McCuskey, Morgan Billig, Kristi Hicks, Jordan Ursch, Abbie Stehno, Jessica Bunting, Taylor Troy, Caitlin Wood and bow Hannah Santa Lucia.
The women also finished third in the junior varsity eight at 7:36.9. Jacksonville and Nova Southeastern were the two fastest boats at 7:13.1 and 7:17.5, respectively. Stetson rounded out the crews in the race. Coxswain Bebe Saldana, stroke Natalie Miller, Corine Roberts, Anastasia Stodolski, Suze Biems, Caitlyn Lightner, Kayla Magee, Jessica Weatherman and bow Tania Kilcullen represented FIT in the race.
The Panthers closed out the FIRA Championships by recording two second-place finishes in the women’s junior varsity four and varsity four ‘B’. The junior varsity four clocked in 4.1 seconds after Nova Southeastern at 7:45.2. Roberts, Stodolski, Biems, Miller and Saldana competed for FIT in the race.
Nova Southeastern also grabbed a win in the varsity four ‘B’ with the Panthers finishing second. The Sharks’ winning time was 7:36.2, and the Panthers timed in at 7:47.5. Ursch, Hicks, Bunting, Stehno and coxswain Brigitte Bonaciraced for FIT. FIT’s men’s and women’s rowing teams will now prepare for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships April 18-19 in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Rollins Takes Two from @FITSoftball, 7-0, 4-3
Florida Tech (22-19, 7-10 SSC) looked to stop the Sunshine State Conference’s hottest offensive team as Rollins College (29-10, 12-5 SSC) entered Nancy Bottge Field with a team batting average of .310. On Saturday afternoon, the Tars strolled to a game one victory, 7-0, and squeaked past the Panthers, 4-3, in game two to clinch its sixth consecutive series victory, four straight against SSC opponents.
In game one, the Tars limited the Panthers’ offense to just three hits. Rachel Pence (13-9) was hit with the loss after allowing five runs – all earned – in 4.2 innings while Rollins ace Niki Fogle (17-5) struck out seven and walked just one in a complete game shutout.
After opening game two with two scoreless innings, the Tars got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top of the third. However, the Panthers struck back with two runs of their own in the bottom frame to tie the game at 2-2. The Tars ticked on a run in the top of the fourth for a 3-2 advantage, but the relentless Panthers rallied back once again, this time in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. A late run in the top of the seventh sealed the victory for Rollins.
Taylor Smith (7-10) threw a complete game, allowing four runs while striking out four and Fogle (18-5) earned her second win of the afternoon following her 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Taylor Peterson went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, Amanda Bueno went 2-of-4 from the dish, andKaci Kelly reached first base safely twice and added an RBI.
Senior day is set for tomorrow as the three-game series against Rollins comes to a close at 1 p.m. Prior to first pitch, Bueno and Kelsey Donahue will be honored for their contributions to the softball program.