ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chelsea Jeffares hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning to push Eckerd past Florida Tech 1-0 Friday night at the Turley Athletic Complex. The Panthers are now 16-8 overall and 2-2 in the Sunshine State Conference, while the Tritons improve to 12-7, 3-1 SSC.
“We had a great pitching performance from Rachel (Pence) tonight and our defense made some great plays,” head coach Val Silvestrini said. “We struggled offensively and didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”
The bottom of the eighth inning began with base hits from Kirby Parnell and Brittany Martinez. Kara Oberer then reached base on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Jeffares, this week’s Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week, sent the second pitch she saw to left-center field to score the game-winning run in Parnell.
FIT had its best chance to score in the seventh when Elizabeth Eby led off with a double to right-center field. Pinch runner Audrey Gangloff then advanced to third on a passed ball. However, Eckerd’s starting pitcher Erin Dixson recorded the next three outs to strand Gangloff at third.
Pence (9-4) received the loss despite giving up two hits through seven innings. She finished with six strikeouts and two walks.
Kelsey Donahue had two of the Panthers’ four hits.