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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Softball Opens SSC Play Versus Preseason SSC Favorite No. 7 Tampa
Lindsy Dugan (right) congratulates Kelsey Donahue (left) on reaching base during one of the Panthers' games against No. 6 Valdosta State. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
Lindsy Dugan (right) congratulates Kelsey Donahue (left) on reaching base during one of the Panthers' games against No. 6 Valdosta State. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Softball) – Florida Tech will kick start Sunshine State Conference play on Friday by hosting preseason favorite No. 7 Tampa in a three-game series at Nancy Bottge Field. The series opener is set for 1 p.m. and a Saturday doubleheader is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.

The Panthers (9-3) are looking to halt a three-game winless streak after starting the season with the best record in the program’s 28-year history at 9-0. The Spartans (5-0) have won their first five games of the 2014 season.

Brigit Godfrey is the lone Panther batting over .400 through the first 12 games. She enters the series 14-of-32 at the plate for a .438 average, good for eighth in the SSC. She’s also tied for third with 14 hits, tied for sixth with 11 runs scored and she’s second in stolen bases at nine. Right beneath Godfrey is Elaine Brown in third with eight stolen bases.

In the circle, Rachel Pence (5-1) is sporting a 1.63 ERA, which ranks third in the SSC. The freshman from Jacksonville, Fla. leads the league with three shutouts and six complete games. She is second with five wins and 34 strikeouts and third with 43.0 innings pitched.

Through five games, Tampa has the second-best batting average in the SSC at .297 and is tops in ERA at 0.20. Kandi Kuder and Meagan Burke are both hitting .500 at the plate. Kuder, a junior catcher, has a team-high nine hits, five RBIs and three stolen bases.

The Spartans have received good pitching from 2013 SSC Pitcher of the Year Kayla Cox and Julia Morrow thus far. Cox is 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA. She has struck out 30 batters in 17 innings and is holding opponents to a .117 batting average. Morrow has yet to give up an earned run in 17.0 innings. She has punched out 32 and walked one. Opposing hitters are batting .105 against the junior.

FIT last played on Feb. 15 and lost two games at Flagler, 5-0 and 2-1 in 10 innings. Tampa played a doubleheader on Feb. 16 and beat Simon Fraser, 8-0 in five innings and 5-1 in game two.

Live audio and stats will be available for the three-game series at FloridaTechSports.com/live. Live updates will also be posted to Panther Softball’s Twitter account, @FITSoftball.
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