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Revenge is Sweet for Newly Ranked No. 18 Florida Tech
Jessica Callahan's sacrifice fly won game one of Wednesday's doubleheader and her RBI in game two gave FIT a big insurance run. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
Jessica Callahan's sacrifice fly won game one of Wednesday's doubleheader and her RBI in game two gave FIT a big insurance run. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Softball) – Hours after catapulting into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 Poll, 18th-ranked Florida Tech swept Flagler in a doubleheader, 5-4 and 2-1, Wednesday afternoon at Nancy Bottge Field. The Panthers are now 13-4 overall, while the Saints fall to 10-12.

The two-game sweep of the Saints evens the season series between the teams. On Feb. 15, Flagler dealt FIT its first two losses of the season to halt the Panthers’ best start in the program’s 28-year history.

“Our goal is to get better every single day from games to practice,” head coach Val Silvestrini said of her team being ranked for the first time in her five years at FIT. “We know everyone is going to come after us now that we’re ranked. We need to keep getting better and it’s all about how we finish [the season]. Our goal is to get to the postseason.”

In game one, the Panthers trailed 4-0 after two innings. However, they put a three-spot on the scoreboard in the third. They completed the rally in the fifth on a bases loaded ground out by Elaine Brown. With the score tied at four in the seventh, Jessica Callahan scored Brigit Godfrey on a sacrifice fly for the walk-off win.

Brown led FIT at the plate in the game, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.   

Rachel Pence, who was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Pitcher of the Week during the game, picked up her eighth win of the season as she improved to 8-1. She gave up four runs on seven hits, but only one run was earned. She once again didn’t surrender a walk and struck out four.

Taylor Peterson connected on the third pitch she saw from starter Katelynn Smith in the second inning of game two to give FIT an early 1-0 lead. Callahan brought in an insurance run in the form of Godfrey in the fifth.

Taylor Smith fired five scoreless innings of six-hit ball. She didn’t walk a single Saint and never allowed a runner to reach third base in the outing.

Pence relieved Smith at the start of the sixth inning and earned her second save of the season. The one run Flagler scored came in the sixth inning on a single by Christen Moon. In the seventh, Pence sat the opposition down in order.

Peterson finished 3-for-3 in the game with an RBI and one run scored.

The Panthers will conclude their seven-game homestand with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday. Live audio and stats will be available for both games at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
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