MELBOURNE, Fla. - The No. 3-ranked Armstrong State University softball squad opened up the 2017 season with a pair of wins at the Florida Tech Marriott First Pitch Classic on Friday in Melbourne, Fla. The Pirates defeated host Florida Tech, 11-7, and also downed Nova Southeastern, 6-3.
The Pirates (2-0) will continue action in the Classic on Saturday, taking on Palm Beach Atlantic at 11:30 a.m. and Angelo State at 6:00 p.m. Armstrong State then concludes action in the tournament by facing Nova Southeastern again at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Armstrong State opened up the season quickly as sophomore Macy Coleman launched a solo home run to open up the game against Florida Tech. An error led to three Panther runs in the bottom of the first, but an RBI double from sophomore Connor Weaver in the second inning and a solo home run by junior Autumn Parrish in the fourth tied the game up at 3-all.
Florida Tech retook the lead on Hailey Leonard's grand slam home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Armstrong State plated six runs in the top of the fifth inning - keyed by an RBI double from senior Hannah Reppert and a two-run home run from sophomore Logan Harrell - to take a 9-7 lead. Parrish followed with a two-run home run in the sixth inning for the final 11-7 margin.
Senior Jane Trzaska (1-0) picked up the win over the Panthers in relief with 3 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, walking one and striking out one. Florida Tech's Rachel Pence (0-1) took the loss, giving up 14 hits and 11 runs - eight earned - in six innings of work, striking out three.
Harrell went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Pirates, while Parrish went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI.
In the second game, Armstrong State took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Nova Southeastern tied the game with a single run in the second inning, but a Coleman RBI single put the Pirates back in front, 2-1, in the third inning.
Nova Southeastern struck back in the fifth on a Sydney Lageyre RBI triple and a Dakota Villella single to take a 4-3 lead, but it was short lived as Trzaska blasted a two-run home run in the sixth to put the Pirates ahead, 4-3. Reppert then added a pair of insurance runs on a two-run double for the 6-3 final.
Sophomore Sierra Peebles (1-0) went the distance for the Pirates, notching her first win of the season, giving up eight hits and three runs in seven innings, walking three while striking out two. Nova Southeastern's Storrer (0-1) took the loss, giving up eight hits and six runs - five earned - in six innings, walking three while striking out four.
Reppert's pair of doubles and Collins' two hits led the Pirates offensively in game two.