Panthers Sweep Doubleheader Behind Brilliant Pitching
By Florida Tech Athletic Communications // February 25, 2015
Coach Silvestrini moves above .500 in her career
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida Tech softball (14-3, 0-0 SSC) used a surge of power as well as two phenomenal outings from pitchers Taylor Smith and Rachel Pence to pick up a couple of doubleheader victories over Chestnut Hill (2-2) Tuesday at Chain of Lakes Park.
Freshman Amanda Kahn started her second career game in game one. She cruised through her first two innings, retiring the Griffins in order.
Audrey Gangloff started a two-out rally in the third, hitting an infield single to the shortstop and alertly taking second when nobody covered the bag.
Brigit Godfrey made the move payoff, singling to center to drive in the run and give the Panthers the 1-0 lead.
Kahn ran into a little bit of trouble in her half of the third, struggling with her control and allowing three Griffin runs.
With Chestnut Hill beginning to put together a crooked number, head coach Val Silvestrini decided to go to her bullpen, bringing in Smith.
The Ponte Vedra native took all of one pitch to end the inning, forcing a groundout to Godfrey.
The Panthers inched closer in the fourth when Hailey Leonard delivered a single up the middle to bring home Godfrey. Nicole Miller knotted things up in the fifth, taking an outside pitch over the wall in right field for a solo home run.
Miller wasn’t through. The Didsbury, Alberta native got a pitch in the same location in the seventh and used it to end the game, launching a two-run shot to center for a 5-3 FIT win.
After replacing Kahn in the third, Smith was the definition of unhittable. The graduate student retired all 13 batters she faced, striking out four.
Pence took to the circle in game two and had all of her stuff working. The sophomore allowed just a single hit in her seven shutout innings, her only allowed baserunner of the game.
The Griffins were never able to get a beat on Pence’s changeup as more than half of the sophomore’s 21 outs came by way of the strikeout.
Not that she needed it, Pence received plenty of run support. The Panthers plated two in each of the third and fourth innings before ending their scoring with a bang in the fifth.
After Miller reached base on an error, Ashley Montion legged out a single down the third base line. Pinch hitter Sarah Hayes then cleared the bases with a three-run homer well over the wall in left field.
With the two wins, Silvestrini moves above .500 in her career as the coach of the FIT squad. The Panther skipper is now 132-131 during her six seasons at the school.
The Panthers open Sunshine State Conference play on Friday and Saturday with a three-game road series with the Spartans of Tampa.