DAVIE – After a one-week layoff from competition, Florida Southern finally returned to the field Friday night for the first of a 3-game series at Nova Southeastern and showed no ill effects from the time off. A lengthy lightning delay in the middle of the game didn't faze the Moccasins either, though by that point they were already four runs in the black. With seniors Jordan Alexander and Maggie Roberts and sophomore Ashlyn Worcester all picking up two hits, and three other players driving in a run, Florida Southern downed Nova Southeastern 6-1.
Although Florida Southern (12-25-1, 4-11-1 Sunshine State Conference) won the game, it was Nova Southeastern (11-32, 1-18) that scored the first run in the bottom of the first. Cleanup batter Dajia Jones put the Sharks ahead 1-0 when she doubled in Megan Granitto, who had reached on a one-out walk.
The Moccasins responded with four runs in the top of the second inning, batting around while collecting three hits and two walks with one Nova Southeastern error thrown into the mix. Roberts started the inning for FSC with a walk and the Mocs would load the bases with one out singles by freshman Jessica Trana and Worcester. When junior Dana Mackiewicz hit a ground ball to second, Haley Gonzales tried to come home with the throw for a force out at the plate, but it was too late to prevent the tying run from scoring.
Now with the game tied at one, sophomore Amber Presto drew a walk to force in Trana with the go-ahead run and a single up the middle by Alexander plated Worcester for a 3-1 Moccasin lead. The fourth run of the inning scored on a Sharks error.
The Mocs made it 5-1 with another run in the top of the third after a leadoff single by Roberts. She was replaced by freshman pinch-runner Annemarie Tracey, who stole second, took third on a fly ball by freshman Zierra Flodman, and scored on another fly ball by Trana.
After Nova Southeastern stranded two base runners in the bottom of the third, officials cleared the field with lightning in the area and the teams were forced to sit out a delay of two hours and 12 minutes before play could be resumed. When it did, the Moccasins got runners into scoring position in the fourth inning after a leadoff single by Presto, and the fifth inning on a one-out double by Roberts but left both of them on base.
The Mocs did score again though in the top of the sixth with Alexander doing all the work. The Mocs' leadoff batter hit a ball into short right field toward the line that dropped in and when rightfielder Sabrina Fischer had trouble fielding it, Alexander sprinted around the bases to score on what was ruled a double and 2-base error.
The Sharks almost got back into the game in their half of the sixth after they started the inning with three consecutive singles. However, senior Brandi Jones came back with two strikeouts and got a lineout by Dakota Villella to leave the bases loaded.
Jones went the distance for the Moccasins to improve to 6-12 on the season. The Sharks had nine hits off her but only the one run in the first inning. Jones struck out six and walked three, and all six of those strikeouts came in the final three innings.
Granitto (5-11) also pitched a complete game for the Sharks, giving up six runs (four earned) on nine hits. She walked three and had no strikeouts.
Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern will play a doubleheader on Saturday, and those games have been moved up for an approximate start time of 9:30 a.m.