FORT MYERS, Fla. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team split a pair of games on Thursday morning at the Century Link Complex in Fort Myers.
The Panthers dropped the opener, 7-4, to Olivet College and then won the finale, 6-5, over Dominican.
"I am proud of how we battled today in two very different types of games against two quality teams," said Pitt-Bradford head coach Tina Phillips. "I really liked how we came out in the second game and got a lead and hung tough for the win."
Cassidy Lewis led the Panthers with two RBI while Amber Fox, Maddy Hillery and Leann Bell had two hits each in the game two victory. Summer Andrews pitched well in the circle; picking up her first collegiate victory while Taylor Collins tossed a scoreless seventh to get her first save of the year.
"We hit the ball hard today," Phillips said. "I am happy for Summer for getting her first win and Taylor did a superb job closing it out. We are still a pretty young team and these games will definitely help us in the long run."
The Panthers did the majority of their damage in the first inning. Fox scored on a throwing error, Hiller lined an RBI single to center and Lewis roped a two-run double over the center fielder's head and then scored on a throwing error later in the inning to give Pitt-Bradford a 5-0 lead after one inning of play.
Dominican began chipping away at the lead, scoring one run in bottom of the second and third innings to tighten the deficit to just 5-2.
The Panthers got one back in the fourth, when Natalie Harding scored on a throwing error, extending the lead to 6-2 after four.
Dominican really made things interesting with a three-run top of the fifth, but Andrews and the Panthers got out of the jam, clinging to a 6-5 lead.
Neither team plated a run in the remaining innings and the Panthers improved to 3-3 on the trip.
Olivet was a much tougher test in the first game, however the Panthers nearly came all the way back after trailing 7-0 after five innings.
"Our approach at the plate wasn't great in the first game," Phillips said. "We have to be confident and tougher with our approach. We gave up five runs with two outs and that really hurt us."
The Panthers scored all of their runs in the top of the seventh. Dzurisin started the rally with a single to left that eventually allowed Alexis Wooden to score from third on a throwing error. Fair followed that up with a two-run double to left-center and then scored later in the inning on another Olivet throwing error.
However, 7-4 was as close as the Panthers would come in the opener.
Pitt-Bradford takes the day off Friday, but returns to action Saturday afternoon at three against Salem State and then Edgewood at five.