Melbourne, Fla – The University of Tampa softball team took on the 14th ranked Florida Tech Panthers in a Saturday double header to wrap up the first conference series of the season.
With these two games in the book, the Spartans record is now 3-5 overall and 0-3 in conference while the Panthers stand at 13-2 overall and 3-0 in SSC play.
In the first game, UT and Florida Tech turned in an extended game as it took 12 innings to decide a winner. The Spartans and Panthers would go back and forth between the 3rd and 7th inning, coming up with five runs each. After that, it turned into a pitcher's duel as UT's Alyssa Bache (1-4) and FIT's Rachel Pence (11-0) threw five scoreless innings. In the 12th, Florida Tech managed to break the deadlock scoring two runs to win by a final score of 7-5.
Junior Bre Setree led the offense for Tampa as she went 3 for 6 at the plate, accounting for one run and one RBI, the latter coming off her (and the teams) first home run of the season in the top of the 7th.
Also chipping in at the plate were senior Alyssa Bache who went 1 for 4 batting, scoring one run and drawing two walks with one being intentional and right fielder Laurie Kostecka who went 2 for 6 at the plate, with three RBI's in the game.
Taking the circle for UT was Bache who went the entire game as she gave up seven hits and seven runs while walking eight and striking out 12. Opposite her for FIT was Pence who threw a complete game, allowing 13 hits, five runs, walking three, and striking out nine.
In game two of the day, the Spartans were unable to keep up with the offensive outburst of the No. 14 Panthers, as Florida Tech took the game by a 12-4 score in five innings. Setree (0-1) was the starting pitcher in the conclusion of the series, throwing two innings while allowing five earned runs on three hits and walking five.
Pitching for the Panthers was McKenzie Krutsinger (1-0) who threw four innings in which she allowed six hits and four runs.
The third inning was the turning point of the game as Florida Tech put up eight runs in the bottom half. The Spartans responded in the top of the fourth as they cut the deficit in half as they scored four runs of their own. Unfortunately, FIT responded in the home half of the inning as they tacked on three more runs. A double in the bottom of the fifth by the Panthers ended the game and the series.
The offensive output by UT was once again led by the duo of Setree and Bache as they accounted for two of those runs, with Bache adding in an RBI.
In addition, catcher Erica Matich contributed at the plate as she went 1-2, scoring a run and adding two RBI's to her line.
The Spartans will be back in action on Friday, February 26 as they host Lynn University for their home opener. The game is scheduled to start at 6 pm. The three game series will conclude the following day with a double header that has game one scheduled for a 1 pm start.
Live stats, as well as a live broadcast, will be made available through www.tampaspartans.com as well as on the new UT Spartans Front Row app available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, free of charge.
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