Fort Myers, Fla. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team went 1-1 on their third day of competition in Fort Myers, Fla.
Despite taking an early lead in game 1, the Panthers were unable to hold Rockford down at the plate as they lost to the Regents by a score of 11-3 in five innings.
- Playing as the visitors, the Panthers threatened to score in the first inning as they loaded the bases with one out on an error, single, and hit batter. They were unable to take advantage of the situation as the next two batters popped up to short and struck out to end the threat. Starting pitcher Ashley Stein allowed a one-out double in the first, ut got two quick outs to get the Panthers back in the dugout.
- In the second, the Panthers quickly jumped ahead with three runs in the frame. Imani Jackson started the rally as she battled back from an 0-2 count and was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. She then moved to second base as KT Marx beat out an infield single. Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt and Jackson was able to score as Kindra Wessels dropped a single into left field. After a strikeout, Marguerite DeFranco came up with a big hit as she hit a double down the left-field line to bring both runners around and put the Panthers up 3-0.
- The Panther lead did not last long, as the Regents exploded for four quick runs in their half of the inning. Following a leadoff single and stolen base, Stein allowed back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 2. Se walked the next batter to put runners on 1st and 2nd and seemed to settle down as the next two batters popped up and grounded out to second base. With two outs, Rockford was able to drop a fly ball just inside the left-field line for a 2 run double to take the lead.
- Pitt-Bradford was retired quickly in the 3rd, and the Regents continued to build momentum, adding two more runs to their total. They scored the run without recording a hit as they reached on 3 free passes, stole 5 bases, and hit a sacrifice fly.
- The Panthers stranded a runner on 2nd in the 4th as Kindra Wessels singled to right and then stole second, and were quickly punished in the bottom half, as Rockford tacked on three more. Lindsay Steele entered the game to pitch for the Panthers and gave up consecutive doubles and a single to push the lead to 7-3. The Regents used their speed on the bases to their advantage again in the inning as they scored their 8th and 9th runs on stolen bases that were accompanied by throwing errors.
- Pitt-Bradford went down in order in the 5th and quickly saw the game come to an end in the bottom of the inning. Steele allowed a leadoff single and then walked the next batter and hit a third to load the bases. She hit another batter to bring in the 10th run and walked the final batter to push the score to 11-3 and end the game.
Marguerite Defranco and Kindra Wessels both went 2 for 3 in the game. DeFranco drove in two runs and hit a double, while Wessels had two singles, a run scored and a run batted in. Imani Jackson and Katie Marx also had singles in the game. Ashley Stein (0-2) picked up the loss after allowing 6 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and a hit batter in 3.0 innings pitched. She struck out one. Steele pitched 1.0+ innings in relief. She was charged with 5 runs, 4 earned, on 5 hits, two walks, and 2 hit batters.
After a longer than expected break between games, the Panthers hit the field for their second game of the day and were able to defeat Immaculata 6-0 to earn their first victory of the season.
- The Panthers went down in order in the first inning, sending Kindra Wessels to the mound in the bottom of the inning with the game scoreless. Wessels allowed a leadoff single but quickly saw the runner erased as KT Marx threw the runner out attempting to steal second base. She allowed a walk later in the inning but got out of the frame unscathed with a groundout to short.
- After the Panthers were retired 1-2-3 in the 2nd, Wessels worked around a leadoff single and throwing error to send the game to the thirds inning still tied 0-0.
- Pitt-Bradford was able to break open the scoring in the 3rd, using 2 hits,2 walks, and an error to jump ahead 3-0. Grace Gardner led off the inning by mining her first collegiate hit into left field for a single. The Panthers loaded the bases on consecutive walks by Sadie Wood and Chloe Cordova before Wessels brought in the first run on a sacrifice fly to center. Both runners were allowed to move up a base as the throw home was errant. Dolcey Shunk brought in a second run on a ground out to short and Daytona Wentzel picked up a third RBI as she hit a grounder toward the 5-6 hole that was not able to be handled.
- Wessels returned to the circle in the bottom half of the inning and walked the first two batters of the inning. Both runners moved up a base as Wessels tracked down a slow grounder between the circle and first base and were subsequently stranded as Wessels induced two pop-ups to end the inning.
- The Panthers continued to build momentum following Wessels' shut down inning as they tacked on the 4th run in the 4th inning. KT Marx led off the inning by driving a triple into the right-centerfield gap and scored when a Hannah Fisher pop-up was dropped on the edge of the infield. In the bottom half, the Mighty Macs were once again able to load the bases with a two-out rally but fell short as Wessels got the third out on a grounder to short to end the frame.
- In the 5th, the Panthers struck two more times on 3 hits. Wessels led off the inning with a single to right and after a pop-up in foul territory, Daytona Wentzel lined a triple into left-center to bring Wessels all the way around. Lexi Peters followed this by dropping a single on the line in right field to extend the Panther advantage to 6 runs.
- Wessels walked two batters in the bottom of the 5th but saw the inning end quickly as Peters was able to snag a line drive up the middle and step on second to double up the runner.
- In the final two innings, the Panthers were able to put runners on base and in scoring position, but could not bring them in to extend the lead. In the same innings, Wessels retired the side in order in the 6th and allowed just a single in the 7th to close the game.
Kindra Wessels (1-3) not only picked up the Panthers' first win of the season, but also her first career victory, complete game, and shutout. She kept the Mighty Macs off the board while allowing 5 hits, 5 walks, and a hit batter. She struck out 5. Wessels also saw some success at the plate as she went 1 for 2 with a run scored and an RBI. Daytona Wentzel was the lone Panther to record a multi-hit game as she finished 2 for 4. She also drove in two runs and scored another. Dolcey Shunk, Lexi Peters also recorded RBIs in the game.
The split leaves the Panthers at 1-9 on the season. They will have a much-deserved day off on Thursday after three straight days of action in the Florida sun. They will return to action on Friday, March 11th as they take on R.I.T. and New Jersey City at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.