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SATURDAY, MARCH 08, 2014
Panther Softball Wins Second Straight SSC Series
Nicole Shinsky threw out a runner trying to steal second base to end game one and came through with a two-run RBI double in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
Nicole Shinsky threw out a runner trying to steal second base to end game one and came through with a two-run RBI double in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Photo by Amanda Stratford Photography.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Softball) – Florida Tech will return to Melbourne on Saturday with two Sunshine State Conference series wins following its doubleheader sweep of Eckerd at the Turley Athletic Complex. The Panthers came out on top by scores of 3-2 and 4-2.

With the two wins, FIT takes the series two games to one. It is now 4-2 in SSC action and 18-8 on the 2014 season. Eckerd is 12-9 overall and 3-3 in the SSC.

“Our team improved every game,” head coach Val Silvestrini said. “The SSC is really tough this year and you have to play your best every game. We've been having great performances in the circle from Taylor (Smith) and Rachel (Pence), and today our offense stepped up and was able to score some runs for them.”

Smith (6-4) entered the first game of the twinbill having allowed just two earned runs in her last 36 1/3 innings. She further lowered her ERA to 1.74 after giving up two runs, only one was earned, in a complete game effort. She didn’t walk a single Triton and struck out two.

The Ponte Vedra, Fla. native received what ended up being a big run on a fielder’s choice by Brigit Godfrey in the sixth inning.

Ahead 3-1, Eckerd’s Chelsea Jeffares cut FIT’s lead to one on a ground out in the seventh. Smith recorded the second out on a fielder’s choice. Nicole Shinsky then threw out pinch runner Kiley King, who was trying to steal second to end the game.

Kelsey Donahue had two hits for the second straight game. Elaine Brown led off for the first time this season and scored two runs.

With the series up for grabs in game two, Eckerd plated two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Kaycie Duncan. Pence would only permit two hits and one walk the rest of the game.

She was spotted four runs in the top of the third inning. Shinsky came through with a two-run RBI double to put her team up 4-2.

FIT’s offense finished with 10 hits. Amanda Bueno and Elizabeth Eby had two hits each.

Pence (10-4) totaled seven strikeouts and surrendered only one walk in her 13th complete game of the season.

FIT will welcome the Dutch National Team to Nancy Bottge Field on Monday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The twinbill is the start of seven straight home games for the Panthers. Live audio and stats will be available throughout the homestand at FloridaTechSports.com/live.
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