Spartans Sweep Tritons Securing Coach’s 700th Victory

By: Kristen L. Wagner

The University of Tampa Spartans competed against the Eckerd College Tritons in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon to complete their weekend series.

The Spartans won the first game 2-0, with another win in the second game 3-0. The games took place at the Naimoli Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

These winning games mark Head Coach Leslie Kanter’s and Assistant Coach Denise Rubio’s 700th victory with the Spartans.

As of now, the Tampa Spartans Softball Team is on a four-game winning streak.

Keynotes of the first game that contributed to the victory begin with Lexie Chevalier scoring a double after a hit to center field.

Emalee Jansen followed, hitting a base hit to center field in hopes of scoring Chevalier; unfortunately, Chevalier was controversially thrown out at home. Head Coach Leslie Kanter left the dugout to question the umpire over the call.

Lauren Fantone managed to hit a triple, but The Triton’s right fielder, Cardona, overthrew the play, leading to a score for the Spartans.

Mariah Galhouse was on the verge of pitching a no-hitter until Tritons’ Casanas hit a single to give the Tritons their first hit of the game.

Galhouse struck out the first two batters. A hit to shortstop ended the game as Galhouse pitched yet another complete game.

Keynotes worth mentioning in the second game which contributed to the next victory begin with Balmer claiming the first hit for the Spartans.

The next up for bat was Galhouse, who hit a single run, continuing her hitting streak.

The Tritons’ Soterakis was hit by a pitch giving Mary Beth Feldman her walk of the game.

Galhouse managed to land a base to start the inning. Galhouse then attempted to steal second base and was successful after a late throw.

Efforts by Spartans Chevalier and a walk by Jansen had the bases loaded for the Spartans looking to increase the score. However, Miranda Perez struck out to end the inning.

Tritons’ got their first hit of the second game with a double by Casanas, ending Feldman’s no-hitter.

Feldman once again hit another batter. Then threw another pitch to advance the runner to second. Tritons’ Cardona singled to left field, and that was the end of Feldman’s night as Galhouse entered the game to bring it to an end.

Galhouse, who previously pitched a complete game earlier, came in and struck out the next batter swinging to end the game.

Sophomore Lara Wiedemann, a student-athlete at the University of Tampa majoring in Education, attended the game and witnessed the 700th victory milestone firsthand.

“As a member of the swim team here at the University, I know what it feels like to win,” she said. “It’s an indescribable feeling. I haven’t seen the work that the softball team puts in, but I got to see the work pay off. I can certainly relate. The feeling you get once you realize that the work has finally paid off, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Wiedemann related the softball victory to one of her victories in the sport of swimming.

“Last year was a rough year,” she said. “With Covid, it was difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We trained nonstop with the constant possibility that our entire season could be canceled the next day. There was no certainty, but I put everything I had into every practice. I closed that season by qualifying for NCAA’s. I will never forget that feeling, and I’m sure this team and coaches will never forget this feeling either.”

The University of Tampa Softball Team will play the University of North Georgia in a doubleheader Thursday, February 24th at 4 pm in Tampa, Florida. The second game is scheduled to begin at 6 pm.

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