Titans sweep past Panthers

AVON PARK - The South Florida State College Panther softball team continues to struggle as they dropped both ends of a doubleheader to the Eastern Florida State College Titans by scores of 12-8 and 8-4 Thursday.

The losses dropped the Panthers to 0-8.

"We did not lose a game during fall ball," said South Florida softball coach Carlos Falla. "We don't make adjustments offensively, we aren't playing smart defensively. We throw the ball to the wrong place, we don't catch it, we are doing everything wrong."

Eastern Florida was aided by a South Florida error in the top of the first that allowed the Titan's Brooke Formby to reach base.

She scored two batters later off a double by Bri Seaman. Seaman later scored on a passed ball as Eastern Florida held a 2-0 lead.

South Florida stormed back in the bottom of the first when Alexis Adams hit her first home run of the season over the left-center field fence to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead.

South Florida starting pitcher, Lauren Phillips, sailed through the next two innings as the Panthers increased their lead to 5-2 courtesy of solo home runs by Kaitlyn Conway in the second inning and Adams connected again in the third inning.

Phillips ran into trouble in the fourth inning as she gave up a leadoff walk followed by three hits and a fielder choice that resulted in one out.

With the score tied at five, the Panthers brought in Adams to pitch, but she fared no better as the Titans hammered her for three consecutive hits that brought in four more runs as the Titans finished their portion of the third inning with a 9-5 lead.

The Panthers tried to claw their way back into the game, scoring once in the bottom of the fourth to shrink the lead to 9-6.

They would add two more in the bottom of the fifth as Paige Davis and Adams led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to make the score 9-7. Adams scored on a single by Rayvin Vick to cut Eastern Florida's lead to 9-8.

That would be as close as they would get as the Titans scored three more in the top of the seventh off of three hits and two Panther errors to take a 12-8 lead.

South Florida went down in the bottom of the inning to end the game.

The second game had the Panthers again heading into the fourth inning with a lead, this time at 2-1.

Similar to the first game, the Panthers would find themselves trailing as the Titans Shelby Nazworth led off with a double and later scored on an error by the Panther center fielder who missed a fly ball by Fallon McLaughlin.

McLaughlin later crossed home plate on a single by Seaman to give the Titans a 3-2 lead.

Eastern Florida tallied two more runs in the fifth as Manya Lopez led off the inning with home run down the left-field line that hit the foul pole about half way up.

A walk and a double accounted for the second run as Eastern Florida increased its lead to 5-2.

They added another run in the top of the sixth inning to make it 6-2.

A late inning Panther rally fell short as South Florida scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, but Eastern Florida matched that in the top of the seventh as they forged out an 8-4 win.

"It is frustrating to me because we are very good when we are playing well, but anybody can beat us when we are making this many errors," said Falla. "We don't catch it and when we do we make the wrong throw. We are going to struggle all year if they do not change."

South Florida is back in action on Tuesday with a home game against Broward State College with the first pitch set for 4 p.m. at Panther Field.