ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – Shannon Bell's leadoff home run in the first inning got Florida Southern off to a roaring start, and Zierra Flodman and Leah Pemberton combined for four RBI in the final two innings as the Moccasins closed out their 4-game road trip with a 9-1, 5-inning victory over Georgia Southwestern Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Playing as the home team, Florida Southern (4-3) took a 1-0 lead when Bell led off the bottom of the first inning with her first home run since joining the team this year as a junior college transfer. The junior centerfielder later singled and scored the second run of the game, coming home on a double by Pemberton in the bottom of the third.
- That hit by Pemberton drove in the first of six runs in the third inning for Florida Southern, all of them scoring with two out. Immediately after Pemberton doubled, Flodman singled sharply through the left side of the infield to bring in Erica Morrissey and put runners at second and third. When Makayla Deuberry hit a ground ball to third that was booted for an error, two more runs scored and the Mocs were up 5-0. Freshman Alex Mace then doubled to deep right to knock in Deuberry and sophomore Donna Ryan's single that caromed off pitcher Kaley Sikes gave the Mocs another run and a 7-0 lead.
- The Mocs added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, an inning that started when Desirae Klumpp walked and Morrissey was hit by a pitch. After a ground ball moved the runners along, Pemberton brought in Klumpp with a sacrifice fly and Flodman doubled in Morrissey.
- Freshman Kristen Beacham went all five innings for the Moccasins in the pitcher's circle, allowing one unearned run on six hits while striking out two and walking one. Now 2-1 on the season, Beacham gave up singles in each of the first four innings, and Bell threw one of those hitters out at second when she tried to stretch it into a double. Another was a hit that Deuberry nearly turned into a ground out by keeping the ball on the infield.
- The Hurricanes (1-4) broke up the shutout in the top of the fifth but it took two errors for that to happen. After the second one, Mikela Barlow singled up the middle to give Georgia Southwestern a run, but Morrissey ended the game for Florida Southern on the next batter by fielding a ground ball, stepping on third and firing across the infield for a double play.
- Sikes took the loss for Georgia Southwestern in her first start of the season and went the distance. She allowed five earned runs on eight hits with no strikeouts and three walks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Bell and Flodman each had two hits for Florida Southern, while Klumpp walked twice. Morrissey also reached twice with a hit and hit-by-pitch.
- Ryan was making her first appearance for the Moccasins by starting in right field. She went 1-for-2 with one RBI. The sophomore from Orlando transferred to Florida Southern this year after playing as a freshman at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. She now has the distinction of playing for two coaches who have won over 1,000 games in their careers: Vickee Kazee-Hollifield at Carson-Newman and Chris Bellotto at Florida Southern.
- Flodman was playing as the designated player for the first time this season, with Mace making her first start behind the plate.
- Bell went 5-for-8 in two games against Georgia Southwestern this weekend, and Pemberton had two RBI in each of those games.
- Bell's home run was the ninth time in team history a player led off the game with one. The last time was Karlyn Scott at Palm Beach Atlantic on April 12, 2012.
- Barlow and Ella Hawkins each had two of Georgia Southwestern's three hits.
- Florida Southern will play its first Sunshine State Conference series of the year next weekend in St. Petersburg as the Moccasins take on Eckerd in a single game Friday night at 7:00, and a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.