Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup
By Florida Tech // March 16, 2014
Softball Wins Rubber Game Over Lynn, 4-0
Florida Tech clinched its third straight Sunshine State Conference series victory by shutting out Lynn 4-0 in game two of yesterday’s doubleheader at Nancy Bottge Field and game one was won by Lynn, 5-1.
By taking the series two games to one, the Panthers are now 20-11 overall and 6-3 in the SSC. The Fighting Knights, meanwhile, are 17-15, 1-8 SSC.
Eight Panthers registered at least one hit in game two with Amanda Bueno, Kelsey Donahue andKaci Kelley totaling two hits each. All three came through with a big hit to score a run. Bueno plated pinch runner Audrey Gangloff to give FIT a 1-0 lead in the second inning. She then brought in Kelley on a double to right-center field for the Panthers’ fourth and final run in the sixth inning.
Rachel Pence (11-5) scattered six hits in her seventh shutout of the season. She and the Panther defense, which did not commit an error in the game, forced Lynn to strand seven base runners. The Fighting Knights’ best opportunity to score came in the second inning when they had a runner on third with two outs. Pence induced a ground out to third baseman Taylor Peterson to end the threat.
“In the second game, we played much better,” head coach Val Silvestrini said. “I tell the girls all the time ‘we don’t play to win, we don’t play to lose. We play to do things right and play good softball.’ I thought they did a really good job. Rachel threw a great game. They have really good hitters and she handled them really, really well. It was nice to have clutch hits when we needed them from Kaci Kelley, Nicole Shinsky, Kelsey Donahue and Amanda Bueno. It was really good to see them get the hits when it mattered the most.”
Lynn forced a series-deciding game after it held FIT to one run in game one of the doubleheader. Fighting Knights starter Kasey Murray (7-8) surrendered five hits, but walked seven. Her defense didn’t commit an error and played a role in the Panthers leaving 11 runners on base.
Danielle McNeill went 3-for-4 and drove in her team’s final run in the sixth inning. Devin Kochergen finished with one hit, a two-run home run, to give Lynn a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Lynn then scored one run in the fifth and two more came in the sixth.
Peterson had two of FIT’s five hits in three at-bats. She also drew a walk and scored her team’s only run.
The Panthers will open a three-game SSC series at Saint Leo on Friday at 7 p.m. The two teams will then play a doubleheader one week from today at 1 p.m. at University Softball Stadium. Live stats will be available for the series courtesy of Saint Leo at FloridaTechSports.com.
Baseball Drops Both Saturday Games to Eckerd
The No. 6 Florida Tech Panthers continued Sunshine State Conference play Saturday with a doubleheader against Eckerd and affter the Panthers won Friday night, the Tritons came back and won both games on Saturday by the scores of 3-2.
“I thought we had a rough week,” said head coach Greg Berkemeier. “We had three games that we dropped this week, and all three were by one run. We have to do a better job. If you do not play fundamental baseball it is going to be very difficult to win. That is kind of what we have done the last week. We have made just enough mistakes to where it is going to affect us in terms of being able to win or lose.”
The Panthers (17-8, 2-4 SSC) started quickly in game one with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman Grant McKown grounded out to second, but it was enough to score seniorAndrew Bartlett.
Up by one, the Panthers added another run in the fifth. McKown led off the inning with a double down the left field line, and then scored on a base hit from sophomore Austin Allen.
Eckerd (14-6, 4-2 SSC) trailed by two heading into the ninth inning, but rallied with three runs. Carter Cashman brought home the tying and go-ahead runs in the inning with a 2-RBI single up the middle. The runs put the Tritons up 3-2, and Eckerd held on for the game one victory.
Junior Scotty Ward (5-1) cruised for most of the first game. Ward did not give up a hit until the fifth inning, but suffered the loss. He gave up three runs on eight hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out eight.
“I thought Ward threw the ball outstanding for the first eight innings,” Berkemeier said. “He kind of got fatigued in the ninth, and just was not able to finish it up.”
Nick Hill (1-0) earned the win for the Tritons. Hill pitched 4.1 innings, did not give up any runs on three hits, walked one, and struck out five. Taylor Owens earned his fourth save of the season.
Eckerd was first on the scoreboard in game two, as they plated a run in the first and second innings. Mike Abraham earned a RBI in the first inning, and a sacrifice bunt by Lucas Luopa brought home the run in the second.
Trailing by two, the Panthers answered in the bottom of the second. Senior Ray Maggi brought home freshman Andrew Calderone with a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Trent Masih then scored senior Dan Bodziak with a base hit through the left-side. The runs tied the game at two.
The game was still tied at two until the Tritons came up with a run in the sixth. Cashman led the inning off with a double down the left field line, and later scored on a wild pitch. The run proved to be the game winner for the Tritons, as they took the series from the Panthers 3-2.
The series win for Eckerd is the first for the Tritons over the Panthers since the 2006-07 season.
“You have to give credit to Eckerd,” Berkemeier said. “They battled throughout and found a way to win.”
Freshman Grant Willcoxon (2-2) suffered the loss for the Panthers. Willcoxon pitched six innings, gave up three runs with two being earned, and struck out two.
Jimmy Gutowski (6-0) picked up the win for the Tritons. Gutowski pitched the full seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits, and struck out four.
NEXT PANTHER HOME GAME SET FOR MONDAY NIGHT AT 6 P.M.
“That is the good thing about baseball,” Berkemeier said. “You do not have to sit around waiting for the next opportunity to play. We have to come out focused Monday and find a way to win.”
The Panthers will make a quick return to Seminick-Hall Field, as they host Southern Connecticut State Monday night. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET. Live stats and audio will be available at FloridaTechSports.com.