WINTER PARK, FL – Aubrey Ehlers gave up just five hits to one of the Sunshine State Conference's top hitting teams Friday night, but Rollins used three singles to score twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Florida Southern 2-0 in the series opener.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Hits were scarce through the first four innings with Ehlers in the circle for Florida Southern (9-12, 4-9 SSC), and Ashley Worrell pitching for Rollins (23-5, 9-4). In fact, there was only one hit in those four frames, a one-out single by Rollins third baseman Talia Kentoffio. Combined with a walk by Abigail Sexton, and a double steal after that, it was really the only scoring chance either team had in the first four innings. Ehlers ended that threat though by getting Tayler Holt on a ground out to third baseman Kensie Green.
- During that same time, the Moccasins received two walks and Makayla Deuberry was hit by a pitch, but all three were left on base. Jessica Trana made it to third following her leadoff walk in the fourth before Worrell induced a ground ball back to the circle by Alex Mace.
- Rollins picked up only the second hit of the game when Bri Ernst led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single by out-racing the arm of Deuberry from the hole. She ended up at third after a sacrifice bunt and stolen base, and that's when things took an unusual turn. Sarah Harrison, the Tars' number nine hitter, hit a short pop-up in foul territory near the third base bench area that was pursued by Green and catcher Zierra Flodman. Green got to it first and made a sliding catch for the out, and with the plate briefly unprotected, Ernst broke for home. Ehlers came in to take the throw from Green, forcing Ernst back to third, but when the ball bounced off her glove and into foul territory on the opposite side, Ernst again came down the line. First baseman Maddi Conner scrambled to retrieve the loose ball as Ernst reversed course again, only to get thrown out at third when center fielder Jadin Dewith came in to apply the tag on a 5-1-3-8 inning-ending double play.
- After only two hits in the first five innings, Rollins collected three in the bottom of the sixth. The first of those came from leadoff batter Jordan Davis, who then swiped her league-leading 22nd base of the season. When Worrell flied out to center, Davis tagged up at second and just beat the throw from Dewith, putting her in position to score when Lindsay Gehring looped a single into short left. A bunt moved pinch-runner Kara Wagstaff to second and she scored the Tars' second run on a another bloop single into left by Kentoffio.
- Worrell completed a no-hitter for the Tars with a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, getting two of the outs herself on ground balls back to the circle. She struck out eight and walked two, improving to 11-3.
- Ehlers fell to 8-6 while giving up only two runs on five hits with a season-high five strikeouts and three walks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Ehlers matched her previous season-high in strikeouts (4) by the third inning. She got Gehring to end both the first and third. The Tars came into the game hitting .300 as a team, which ranked second in the Sunshine State Conference.
- Florida Southern's base runners came Deuberry (HBP) in the first, Flodman in the second (walk) and Trana in the fourth (walk).
- Flodman threw out Abigail Sexton stealing to end the fourth, one inning before the Mocs ended the fifth with their 5-1-3-8 double play.
- The Moccasins were no-hit for the first time since 2015 at Valdosta State, and the first time in SSC play since Ashley Ehlers of Saint Leo (Aubrey's older sister) did it in a 1-0 win by the Lions. The Mocs have been no-hit eight times in their history, but thrown 93 no-hitters of their own.
Florida Southern resumes its series with Rollins on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. in Winter Park.