Softball: Panthers split four games in Boca Raton

By Caitlin Hinsey | Staff Writer

Pitt softball (7-7) split its four games over the weekend in Boca Raton, Fla., as a part of the Florida Atlantic University Tournament.



The Panthers defeated Kent State 1-0 and were shutout by No. 7 Michigan in a 9-0 defeat.

Despite committing two errors, Pitt was able to beat Kent State via pitching and timely hitting. Junior Savannah King pitched a complete game, giving up three hits, a walk and three strikeouts.

Against opposing pitcher Lauren McNeil, Pitt mustered six hits with the most important one coming late in the game.

The Panthers struck in the top of the sixth inning when shortstop Carissa Throckmorton, who went 2-for-3 on the day, led off the inning with a double to right center. After groundouts by second basemen Maggie Sevilla and center fielder Carly Thea, Throckmorton was able to come home and score the decisive run on a fielder’s choice.

Later, Pitt’s offense came up flat in its second matchup against Michigan. The Panthers only managed to get on base four times, and stranded all of their baserunners.

Two of Pitt’s three hits came from left fielder Tori Nirschl who singled in the bottom of the third and fifth innings.

Meanwhile, Michigan exploded on offense by scoring nine runs on fourteen hits in the shortened, mercy-ruled game.

Junior pitcher Alexa Larkin started for Pitt but lasted just one and two-thirds innings and allowed seven runs hits. Senior Lauren Vinson relieved Larkin for three and one-third innings and gave up two more runs on another seven hits.


Pitt continued its run in the FAU Tournament on Saturday as the Panthers faced rival Penn State in the afternoon and grabbed a 3-1 win. Pitt’s night game against tournament host Florida Atlantic was cancelled due to inclement weather.

In their only game of the day, the Panthers were able to capitalize when they got on base. Pitt recorded nine hits against the Nittany Lions’ starting pitcher Marlaina Laubach.

Laubach, the losing pitcher, gave up the three Pitt runs.

The Panthers struck again late in the game for two runs in the top of the fifth and one run in the top of the sixth.

In the fifth, pinch hitter Morgan Choe and first basemen Kaitlin Manuel led off with back-to-back singles. Two at-bats later, left fielder Tori Nirschl singled to right which brought home Choe.

On the ensuing play, Nirschl stole second and a throwing error by the Nittany Lions’ catcher Kasie Hatfield enabled Manuel to come home and score the Panthers second run of the inning.

Center fielder Carly Thea, who was 3-for-3 on the day, scored Pitt’s third and final run in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI single by Manuel. Manuel also finished the day with three hits.

Pitcher Savannah King took the mound again for the Panthers and posted a winning performance. King pitched a complete game surrendering only one run to Penn State on a lead-off home run in the sixth. King also tallied five strike outs on the day.

Pitt’s second game was supposed to be a night game against tournament host Florida Atlantic. Twenty minutes after the first pitch was set to be thrown, the game was put into delay due to lightning and rain. Shortly thereafter, the game was cancelled.


On the final day of the FAU Tournament, Pitt only managed to score one run as the team fell to Kent State 6-1. Overall, the Panthers went 2-2 during the three-day tournament.

The Panthers struggled offensively in this matchup with the team securing only three hits off of the Golden Flashes (6-4). All three hits, including a RBI single in the bottom of the third, belonged to right fielder Jordan Fannin.

Though Pitt had trouble hitting the ball, the Panthers were able to get on base six more times thanks to an error, hit batters and walks but stranded eight batters.

Savannah King took the mound once again for Pitt and pitched a complete game. Despite five strikeouts, King gave up six runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks.

The Golden Flashes set the tone early against the Panthers by scoring three runs in the top of the third. After Pitt secured the first out, Kent State’s Erika Warren and Jessacca Gironda walked.

The following batter Kim Kirkpatrick reached base on a fielder’s choice but all runners were safe due to a fielding error by third basemen Kaila Balatgek. Two batters later, the Golden Flashes’ shortstop Maddy Grimm hit a bases clearing triple.

The Panthers attempted to rally in the bottom of the third when Balatgek and shortstop Carissa Throckmorton were hit by pitches. Fannin came to the plate with one out and drove the ball down the left field line which scored Balatgek while Throckmorton advanced to third and Fannin to second.

Pitt’s Carly Thea and Maggie Sevilla were then unable to bring home the two runner in scoring position as the comeback attempt fell short.

Kent State added its last three runs late in the game with two coming in the top of the sixth and the final run, a home run by Kirkpatrick, in the top of the seventh.