AUBURNDALE – Chalk up one more dramatic win for the Florida Southern Moccasins. One week after winning one game in extra innings and one in the top of the seventh at Eckerd, the Moccasins pulled out another final at-bat victory by scoring two runs in the span of three pitches in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Lynn 4-3 in their 2017 home opener.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Moccasins (8-3, 4-0 Sunshine State Conference) took a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning behind senior pitcher Brandi Jones, but the Knights (6-5, 3-1), who had just three hits in the first six innings, got three more in the seventh to go in front. Karolina Flores led off the top of the seventh with a double and Tori Rios followed with a base hit up the middle that second baseman Leah Pemberton kept on the infield behind the bag. Flores was still able to score the tying run however, and that hit brought freshman Kelli Gault into the game for Florida Southern. Gault got two outs, but a sacrifice and a passed ball moved Rios to third and she scored the go-ahead run for Lynn on a single by Shayle Arenson.
- It took just three pitches in the bottom of the seventh for the Moccasins to re-claim the lead and win the game. Desirae Klumpp yanked the first pitch into the rightfield corner for a triple, and Shannon Bell hit the first pitch she saw for another triple. The hit by Bell was looped into short right where right fielder Mackenzie Wyatt and Arenson from second both gave chase. Neither could get to it before it fell in and after a collision between the two Lynn players the ball bounced toward foul territory as Bell motored into third. One pitch later, Erica Morrissey hit a fly ball to center that was deep enough to score Bell with the winning run.
- The Moccasins scored their first two runs in the bottom of the fourth after an error allowed Alex Mace to reach safely. Makayla Deuberry doubled her home and took third on the throw before scoring on a single by Donna Ryan.
- Lynn got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth on a solo home run by Maddy White, and the Knights left one on base after that when Pemberton ranged toward the bag to turn a ground ball into a force out that brought the inning to a close.
- Jones held the Knights to only one base runner through the first four innings, a bunt single by Sara Vazquez with two out in the third. She allowed five hits in 6.0 innings plus two batters in the seventh while striking out four and walking no one. Two of the three runs against her were earned. Gault picked up the win to improve to 4-0, allowing one hit with no strikeouts or walks in 1.0 inning.
- Francais Olexa fell to 3-2 with the loss, giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Moccasins loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning on three straight two-out singles by Mace, Deuberry and Ryan, but were unable to score. Deuberry and Ryan each had two hits and one RBI in the game, as did Bell in the leadoff slot.
- Arenson matched the Florida Southern trio with two hits and one RBI for Lynn.
- The triples by Klumpp and Bell were the first of the season for Florida Southern, and it was the first time the Mocs had two in one game since March 9, 2011 when Steph Graziani hit both of them in a 9-1 win at Warner. The Mocs hadn't had back-to-back triples since Peggy Alex and Lindsey Powell did it in the second inning of a 7-1 win over Florida Tech on April 15, 2009.
- Gault has been the winning pitcher in the last two games for Florida Southern, each of them 4-3 wins when the Mocs scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Florida Southern and Lynn will play a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.