Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
MELBOURNE, Fla. - - The Wilmington University softball team found the bats early but could not come away with a win as No. 9 Florida Tech defeated the Wildcats, 4-3, in 9 innings and 8-0 in 5 innings on Tuesday at Nancy Bottge Field.
The Wildcats (1-4) got out to a quick start scoring in the first inning, but 11 strikeouts throughout the game wouldn't help as the Panthers got eight hits and scored late.
Rosa'Lynn Burton started the game off with a single to left field, before she could advance to second off of Kiana Broderson-Jones' sacrifice bunt. The Panthers would then throw 10 straight balls to load the bases for Lauren Lopez as she hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Burton. The Wildcats would threaten with two runners on base, but would only get one.
Burton would start off the top of the third with a bunt single, before stealing her fourth base of the season to get the Wildcats into scoring position with only one out. Makayla McCarthy would advance Burton on a single to the pitcher, before Lopez reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Burton to give her the second RBI of the game. The Wildcats would leave a runner in scoring position before ending the inning, leading 2-0.
The Panthers did not get a run across the board until the bottom of the fifth on a double down the left field line to make it a 2-1 ball game. Caitlyn Whiteside only gave up four hits to the Panthers throughout five innings, but Florida Tech would get three in the bottom of the sixth and score a run to tie the game at two. Neither team would score in the seventh to force extra innings using the international tiebreaker.
Alyssa Velasquez started the top of the eighth with a double to left center to score Kiana Broderson Jones and give the Wildcats the lead back, but the Panthers would get three straight outs to end the inning. The Panthers would tie it up again though, in the bottom half of the inning on a fielder's choice, but WilmU would get the last two out to go to the ninth. With an opportunity, the Wildcats could not score Jazmeen Llamas, as Florida Tech was able to get a bunt and a single to right center to end the game in the bottom of the ninth for the win, 4-3.
Rosa'Lynn Burton had three hits, scoring twice, as Alyssa Velasquez and Makayla McCarthy had one for the Wildcats. Caitlyn Whiteside would go 8.1 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with one strikeout.
Looking to bounce right back after the tough loss, the Wildcats could not find the bats, as they only had two hits in the second game.
Florida Tech found their groove as they had 11 hits, starting in the bottom of the third, scoring the first two runs of the contest, before getting another in the bottom of the fourth. WIlmU would not find their next hit until freshman Kiersten Comer got her first collegiate career hit with a single through the right side in the top of the fifth inning.
The Panthers would continue to find hits in the bottom half of the inning, hitting six as they scored three runs to make it a 8-0 game to finished the contest with the eight-run rule.
The Wildcats are back at Legends Way Field tomorrow as they take on PSAC contender, Edinboro at 9:15 a.m., before facing off with Mercy at 11:30 a.m. in a pair of regional contests.