LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team dropped a pair of games Saturday as part of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, first falling to Edgewood before dropping a tough 10-inning battle with Crown in the rain.
"Tough day today," Head Coach Tina Phillips said. "Flat out, we didn't hit and when we needed to execute we didn't. Tough loss for Liz. I thought she battled, but we left runners on six-straight innings. Can't do that and win many games. But we just have to learn from things and move on and work harder to get better. What is nice is we play two more tomorrow to shake this off."
Liz Dzurisin threw all 9.1 innings in the circle in the second game, taking a scoreless game through regulation and into the ninth inning.
In the first game, Samantha Hribal started the game and gave the Panthers five strong innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out a pair.
The Panther bats were alive early against Edgewood, as Pitt-Bradford held a 4-2 lead into the fifth inning.
After the pair of setbacks, the Panthers are an even 4-4 through their first eight games of the season with a pair of contests left in their Florida trip Sunday.
Game One: Edgewood 8, Pitt-Bradford 4
Edgewood got the morning started with a run in the top of the first, cashing in a lead-off single on a sacrifice fly.
But the Panthers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the opening frame.
Grace Dadzaa led off with a single, then stole her way to third base.
An RBI single from Madison East brought home Dadzaa, and East later scored on a passed ball.
Samantha Hribal settled in in the circle, and with the help of the Panther defense, held Edgewood to one run through the fourth inning.
Pitt-Bradford extended its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Gabby Carpenter, Betty Fratercangelo and Lindsey Hull string together three-straight singles, and walks to Jessica Milliron and Dadzaa with the bases loaded amounted to two runs.
But Edgewood would cut the Panthers' 4-1 lead in half during the top of the fifth, plating one on two hits.
The Eagles would stay hot and rally in the sixth for six runs, taking an 8-4 lead.
Pitt-Bradford went quiet and Edgewood hung on to win.
Morgan Bellush came on in relief of Hribal and surrendered six runs -- three of which earned.
Kerrigan Hoffmann got the final four outs in the circle for the Panthers.
Game Two (10 innings): Crown (Minn.) 3, Pitt-Bradford 2
Dzurisin and the Panther defense spoiled a Crown hit in each of the first two innings, and both teams went down in order in the third inning to take the scoreless tie into the fourth.
With a pair of Crown runners aboard and one out, Dzurisin induced a line out and a fly out to escape unharmed and leave the runners stranded in the fourth.
Hull worked the first hit of the day for the Panthers in the fifth inning, grounding it through the right side.
However, she would be left stranded as a double play ended the frame.
The Panthers knocked on the door once again in the sixth as Hribal singled to lead off the inning, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Natalie Harding and advanced to third on a dropped fly ball off the bat of Betty Fratercangelo.
However, a pop out and groundout left her stranded, and the scoreless tie was still intact.
In the top of the seventh, Nicole Nolte worked a leadoff single, moved up on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a groundout.
But Sophia Fratercangelo smacked a hard ground ball in the hole that the Crown second baseman fell to her knees and snagged, throwing her out at first and ending the threat.
Dzurisin and the Panther defense worked a clean seventh inning and the two teams went into extra innings scoreless.
Neither team created much noise until the ninth inning.
With Betty Fratercangelo placed at second base to start the inning, she moved up to third on a hit by Dzurisin. She later scored the first run of the day on a wild pitch.
But Crown would answer with a run in the bottom of the ninth as they worked a pair of hits to score one and tie the game. The Panthers would leave two stranded, though.
In the 10th, Carpenter was placed on second to start the inning and she moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Hull.
Sophia Fratercangelo then grounded one to the shortstop, who made a diving stop and threw her out at first. However, she did the job as Carpenter came into score, putting the Panthers ahead 2-1.
But Crown would capitalize in the bottom of the 10th.
A sacrifice bunt moved the placed runner to third, and a bunt single put two aboard.
A stolen base by the runner at first put two runners in scoring position, and both came into score on a long drive to deep right center, giving Crown the walk-off win.
Hribal led the way offensively for the Panthers with a pair of hits.
Up next, the Panthers will wrap up action in Florida with a game apiece against Nichols and Curry at Century Link.