Feb. 16, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Pittsburgh softball team (5-5, 0-0 ACC) defeated Binghamton, 11-10, Sunday morning on the final day of the USF Invitational in Tampa, Fla. The Panthers surmounted a four-run rally in the sixth that was highlighted by a go-ahead, two-run home run by Maggie Sevilla to solidify the come-from-behind victory.
Alexa Larkin (2-2, 4.76 ERA) earned her second win of the season in relief of Savannah King after recording three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of shutout softball. Annika Wiesinger (0-2, 10.16 ERA) was tabbed with loss, allowing seven runs on six hits in 3.1 innings of relief.
In the top of the first inning, Jessica Bump led off with a base on balls for the Bearcats and followed with a steal of second base. Bridget Hunt moved Bump to third on a double to center field and Sydney Harbaugh reached on an infield error to load the bases with no outs. Bump was caught on a force out at the plate during a Lisa Cadogan fielder’s choice, but another error allowed Hunt and Harbaugh to step across home when the Panthers tried to double up Cadogan on her way to first, 2-0.
Carly Thea started off the Panthers’ half of the second inning with a hit by pitch. Ashlee Sills then slapped a two-strike delivery back to Demi Laney in the circle and went on to beat the throw at first, which Hunt was unable to secure. On the error, Thea advanced to third and Sills made her way to second for Kaila Balatgek, who drove in Pitt’s first run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field to make it a 2-1 ball game.
The Panthers continued their offensive production in the third, this time starting with a Tori Nirschl walk. Nirschl stole second base on an uncontested attempt and also swiped third when Jordan Fannin drew four balls in the next at-bat. She then scored on a fielding error at the plate by Cadogan on a pop-up hit by Carissa Throckmorton to tie the game at 2-2. On the very same play, Fannin rounded her way home on another error by the Binghamton catcher to give Pitt a 3-2 advantage. Throckmorton made it 4-2 when she touched the plate after a wild pitch by Wiesinger.
Caitlyn Friis opened the fourth with a single up the middle and a steal of second base. After Colleen Dougherty struck out and Gabby Bracchi grounded out to King, Bump walked to put two runners on. Hunt then singled to plate Friis, making it a 4-3 score. Harbaugh drove in Hunt from second on a base hit to center and Cadogan added a two-RBI knock through the right side to give the Bearcats a 6-4 lead.
Fannin sliced a liner to left-center and Sevilla reached on an error by Friis to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. With no outs on the board, Sills grounded to Crysti Eichner at third and reached on a throwing error that allowed Fannin to score, 6-5. Balatgek battled for an RBI-single that scored Sevilla to tie the game at six runs apiece. Pitt added its go-ahead run when Sills advanced from third to home on a run-down with Balatgek between first and second, 7-6.
Bracchi and Bump led off the top of the sixth with a pair of singles and were able to place themselves each in scoring position with nobody out in the inning. Binghamton brought home Bracchi on a suicide squeeze by Harbaugh to tie the game at 7-7 and Eichner produced a single up the middle to score Bump from third to take a one-run lead, 8-7. Griffin McIver then stroked a hard-hit single through the right side of the infield to plate two runs, extending the Bearcats’ lead to 10-7.
The bottom of the sixth was welcomed with a base on balls for Kathryn Duran and a single up the middle for Nirschl. Throckmorton, who leads the team with a .371 batting average through 10 games this season, delivered a bases-clearing triple to the left field power alley to score Duran and Nirschl, cutting the deficit to one run, 10-9. Sevilla closed the Panthers’ at-bat with a two-run blast over the left field fence to put Pitt ahead, 11-10.
The Panthers will return to action on Friday, Feb. 21 when they begin their five-game set of the Florida Atlantic Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.
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