MELBOURNE, Fla. - - The Wilmington University softball team dropped a pair to Florida Tech on Tuesday night, giving up crooked numbers in the first game, 11-5, before a walk-off homer completed the sweep, 2-1, at Nancy Bottge Field.
The Wildcats (1-5) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Panthers (13-7) answered with a four-run first inning. The Panthers scored three in the third and capped it with another three-run sixth inning.
Sara Miller connected on a two-out base hit in the top of the firs to score Taylor Gillis from second for the 1-0 lead. But the Panthers were able to get to starter Kylee Gunkel in the home half of the first, as six of the first seven batters reached base. The Panthers scored four runs on five hits in the inning.
Sara Miller cut into the deficit in the top of the third, launching a two-out, two-run homer to bring the Wildcats to within 4-3. But the Panthers answered right back in the bottom of the third with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly to regain a 7-4 lead.
The teams traded runs in the fourth but then the Panthers put the game away with a three-run sixth, taking an 11-4 lead.
Isabella Eleazar homered to lead off the top of the seventh, but that's all the Wildcats would get as the Panthers took the opener, 11-5.
Kylee Gunkel bounced back in the nightcap, going the distance but it was a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh that gave the Panthers the sweep.
Gunkel was perfect through the first three innings, allowing time for the offense to come through. Haley Downin started the top of the fourth with a one-out single and then Lauren Lopez doubles to left to put two runners on. Gabbie Saucedo hit a sacrifice fly to right and the Wildcats were a head, 1-0.
The Panthers finally got a baserunner with one out in the fourth, but that's as far as she got as Gunkel retired the next two batters.
The Wildcats left a runner on second in the fifth and a runner on third in the sixth, keeping the door open for the Panthers.
A leadoff double started the bottom of the sixth before a sacrifice bunt moved the runner up to third with one out. An RBI single tied the game, 1-0, but Gunkel left two runners on to keep the game tied.
Kiersten Comer walked to start the seventh but a double play ended the threat and the inning. Then after getting the first out of the bottom of the seventh, Gunkel would like one pitch back, as the Panthers' first basemen sent it over the wall in left to win the game.
Isabella Eleazar led the Wildcats in game two by going 2-for-3.
The Wildcats have Wednesday off but return to Winter Haven to play Davenport and Pittsburgh State on Thursday starting at 12:15 p.m.