Florida Tech Softball Splits Doubleheader On Senior Day Against Nova Southeastern

By  //  April 25, 2015

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Brooke Smith, Brigit Godfrey, Kaci Kelley, Nicole Miller, Elizabeth Eby, Taylor Smith and Taylor Peterson were all honored in between Saturday’s doubleheader on Senior Day at Nancy Bottge Field. (Image by Amanda Stratford Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLOIDA – Florida Tech softball (35-17, 14-10 SSC) took one of two games against Nova Southeastern (19-24, 7-17 SSC) in both teams’ regular season finale Saturday afternoon at Nancy Bottge Field.

In between games, the Panther seniors were recognized for their contributions to the program during their FIT careers.

Taylor Smith, Elizabeth Eby, Brigit Godfrey, Taylor Peterson, Kaci Kelley, Brooke Smith and Nicole Miller received a bouquet of flowers and a collage of pictures from games throughout their career from athletics director Bill Jurgens, head coach Val Silvestrini and assistant coaches Sean Cotter and Lindsy Dugan.

The Panthers fell behind early but managed to scratch their way back to a 5-3 victory in game one, thanks in part to some miscues by the Sharks.

NSU jumped out in front right away in the first, notching three runs off of starter Rachel Pence.

The Panthers responded immediately when Peterson slapped a grounder to first base and the throw home was just behind the speedy legs of Elaine Brown. Miller scored two batters later on a single to left-center by Ashley Montion.

The score would remain at 3-2 into the late innings thanks to some excellent pitching by both sides. However, FIT left its mark in the fifth.

Nicole Shinsky

Nicole Shinsky

Nicole Shinsk scored from second after two straight wild pitches from Rebecca Thornton, knotting the game at three apiece.

Jessica Callahan broke the tie shortly thereafter, coming around from first on a two base error from Dakota Villella, who muffed an Eby pop up in shallow center field.

Eby would score herself the very next at bat as Brigit Godfrey laced a single right back from where it came.

Taylor Smith came on in the seventh to close out the game. The Ponte Vedra, Florida native was perfect in her lone frame, striking out a pair to collect her league-high fourth save of the campaign.

After the early difficulties, Pence settled down to have a strong outing. After the opening inning, the sophomore allowed five hits while holding the Sharks scoreless.

Although the pitching in the first game was very good, the work in the circle in the late game was phenomenal. On the FIT side, Taylor Smith brought a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Unfortunately for her, Maegan Lee held the Panthers scoreless as NSU collected a 4-0 win in eight innings.

FIT’s best chance came in the third inning, when Eby, Godfrey and Brown all reached on infield singles to load the bases with no outs. Nicole Miller was rung up on an inside pitch for the first out and the Sharks got out of the jam on a 1-2-3 double play.

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Despite an incredible start, Taylor Smith took the loss after giving up four runs in the eighth.

Prior to the eighth inning, the graduate student had given up just a single hit in 10 innings pitched in her final series at Nancy Bottge Field.

With the final chapter of the 2015 regular season written, the Panthers will now wait to hear their fate.

The team is looking to become the first in school history to earn a berth in the NCAA Division II Regional Championships.


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