Florida Tech Softball Coach Val Silvestrini Breaks Program Record After Securing 317th Victory

By  //  April 5, 2021

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Silvestrini passed the late Nancy Bottge on all-time win list

Florida Tech head coach Val Silvestrini and her softball program made history with the game one, 3-2, win that gave Silvestrini her 317th win at Tech. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech head coach Val Silvestrini and her softball program made history after a 3-2 victory that gave Silvestrini her 317th win at Florida Tech.

This put her atop the program’s all-time wins record as she passed the late Nancy Bottge.

The women also won game two, 11-2, for the sweep of the doubleheader and clinched the Sunshine State Conference series two games to one.

“Ever since I started worked at Florida Tech, I always looked at that name [Nancy Bottge] and wondered what she would think of the program right now,” said coach Silvestrini.

“I will never know what she thinks of the program, but the very first time we made it to the postseason in 2015, one of the coaches came to me and she said, Nancy would have been very proud.”

“It’s an honor, but I never put on cleats at Florida Tech and I never won a game,” said Silvestrini humbly. “I think this honor is for all the players that played for me over the last 12 years.”

Whitney Ellis (1-1), Ashlynn Shelley (1-1), Mikayla Wessel (3-4), Ashley Campbell (4-6), Emily Figueroa (2-4) and Jolie Miracle (3-6) all tallied an incredible .500 batting average or better.

Eight players managed a run with Mikayla Lewin and Cheyenne Nelson leading the bunch with three while Lewin also led in the RBI department with six over the two games.

Jordan Lawlis (3-5) and Samantha Guider (3-3) both impressed in their complete game wins as the former surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits with two strikeouts in eight innings of work.

Guider’s line was equally as good as she allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits but she had seven strikeouts in her six-inning performance.

Game one started with the pitcher’s dueling as it took til the bottom of the fourth inning for the first runs of the game as a Tech error and Nova single made it 2-0.

This score held until the top of the seventh when the Panthers began their rally that a Lewin single capped of as it scored Nelson and Miracle. These runs evened it up at 2-2 and the women were able to stop any NSU chance and force extra innings.

The Crimson & Gray shined in the eighth as they got their first lead of the night when Miracle got Chloe French home thanks to a single to left field.

The team again came up big in their final time in the field as they did not allow a Sharks run and this gave them the 3-2 win that broke coach Silvestrini’s tie with Bottge.

Game two was all Florida Tech as they broke through for the first run of the game in the top of the second courtesy of a Miracle sacrifice fly.

In Tech’s next plate appearance, three more runs came across the plate as Lewin and Campbell capitalized on an earlier Nova mistake that gave them just the chance they need to make it 4-0.

The women doubled up their advantage in the fifth as Lewin, Victoria Szrom and French brought home Nelson, Kelly McLaughlin, Emily Figeroua and Lewin.

Lewin continued her dominance as she hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth to answer the Sharks’ two-run inning in the fifth. The final runs of the night came off a Shelley single that allowed just enough time for Wessel and Szrom to cross the plate safely.

This put it at 11-2 and gave the team a run-rule victory after six innings.

Florida Tech will look to keep it rolling Wednesday, April 7, when they welcome Florida Southern to Melbourne for a doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m. ET.

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