WINTER PARK – Senior Brandi Jones was brilliant once again in game one, and freshman Kristen Beacham survived a tough first inning in game two to give Florida Southern a chance to win that one too. But it was a fifth-inning home run by Brianne Lint in the opener and a go-ahead sixth-inning RBI single by Hailee Keisling in the nightcap that gave Rollins 2-1 and 6-5 wins on Saturday and all three games in the weekend series.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Jones was tested right away when the Tars (12-8, 4-2 Sunshine State Conference) had three singles against her in the bottom of the first inning. Two of those, however, barely made it halfway to first base, with Kacie Booth reaching on a bunt single, and Lint squibbing one off the handle. Jones left them stranded though by striking out Chelsea Reed and getting Amanda Guglietta on a fly ball to right.
- Reed came through for the Tars in her next at-bat when her two-out single brought in Booth for the first run of the game in the bottom of the third. Booth had reached on an error earlier in the inning and wound up at second base before advancing to third on a fly ball to center, a play on which Shannon Bell nearly threw her out at third from the warning track.
- Bell's defense was on display again in the bottom of the fourth. After Grace Street hit a wind-aided double to start the inning and Keisling singled, the Tars had runners at first and third with two out. Booth then hit one into the gap in right center that Bell tracked down on the run for the final out of the inning.
- One inning later, Lint led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to left center, giving Rollins a 2-0 lead. It was the fourth home run of the season for Lint and the only earned run allowed by Jones on the day.
- Now down by two runs, the Moccasins (8-8, 4-5) threatened in the top of the sixth when a single by Erica Morrissey and walk by Leah Pemberton gave them runners at first and second with two out. Mace then hit a ground ball up the middle that was knocked down by Rachel Minier at second base for an infield single. With Zierra Flodman, who had replaced Morrissey on a fielder's choice, rounding the bag at third, Minier scrambled to her feet, retrieved the ball and threw the runner out at the plate to end the inning.
- Jones pitched around an infield single, error and a walk in the bottom of the sixth as Rollins left the bases loaded for the second time in the game, giving Florida Southern a chance to make a comeback in the top of the seventh. The Mocs nearly pulled it off. Deuberry started the inning by legging out a ground ball to short for an infield hit and Donna Ryan followed with a double down the line in right. When the throw to third got away for an error, pinch-runner Jordan Sheppard came home to pull the Mocs within 2-1. Pinch-hitter Jessica Trana then singled up the middle for the Mocs' third straight hit, putting runners at the corners, still with no one out. Rollins pitcher Erin Fortney bounced back though for consecutive ground outs, one of them a hard-hit ball by Bell down the line that was fielded by Keisling at first, forcing the Mocs to hold at second and third. The Tars elected to intentionally walk Morrissey and Fortney ended the game by inducing Flodman to fly out to center.
- Both starting pitchers went the distance with Fortney improving to 2-1 with the win and Jones falling to 1-3. Fortney allowed eight hits, walked two and had no strikeouts. Jones gave up 11 hits but only one earned run while walking one and striking out two. Each team had four infield singles.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- Amanda Furar made her first start of the season at first base for the Moccasins and went 1-for-2 with a single in her first at-bat. Furar spent the last two seasons as a first baseman and pitcher at St. Thomas University in Miami.
- Mace had two of the Moccasins' eight hits, and Keisling had three hits to lead Rollins in the game.
- After five pitchers combined to issue 14 walks in the first game of the series Friday night, there were no walks in the first game Saturday until the top of the sixth inning. Of the three walks issued in the game, one was intentional.
- Jones' ERA fell to 1.49, and after giving up four earned runs in her first start of the season, she's given up a total of four earned runs in her last five while averaging less than one base runner per inning.
- Bell had seven putouts for the Moccasins in center, the most for any Moccasin outfielder this year.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- Game two got off to an interesting start when Rollins scored five times in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-0 lead only to give it up when Florida Southern scored five in the top of the third. The first 2½ innings took an hour and 20 minutes to play, and featured 10 runs on seven hits, seven walks, four errors, a hit batter, and 158 pitches thrown by three difference pitchers, one of whom left the game for Rollins, only to re-enter later in the same inning.
- After the Moccasins left the bases loaded without scoring in the top of the first, the Tars used three hits, two walks, a hit batter and two errors to score their five runs in the bottom of the first. Two of those runs scored directly on the defensive miscues, but the Tars also got a bases-loaded walk from Minier and an RBI single from Abigail Sexton. Another run scored as the Mocs were attempting to throw a runner out on the bases on Sexton's hit.
- The Moccasins had a similar inning in the top of the third when they scored their five runs on three hits and three walks with one Rollins error thrown into the mix. It started with a leadoff single from Bell, and the Mocs quickly had the bases loaded after an error and a base hit by Mace. A rolling ground ball hit to the pitcher's circle by Trana gave the Tars a chance for a force play at home, but the throw was late as Bell scored the Mocs' first run. A walk to Pemberton forced in the second run and brought relief pitcher Erin Crawford into the game to replace starter Sarah Piening. After back-to-back ground outs, one of them by Flodman to drive in another Florida Southern run, Crawford issued back-to-back walks, with the second to Desirae Klumpp bringing in the fourth run of the inning. That prompted another pitching change by the Tars, with Piening re-entering the game and giving up an RBI single to Bell which tied the game at 5-5.
- Following the five-run first inning, Beacham held the Tars to only two hits from the second through fifth and also surrendered just one walk during that stretch. Another batter reached base on an error, but Flodman threw that one out attempting to steal. With one out in the bottom of the sixth though, Grace Street doubled to left and two batters later, Keisling's single brought her home with what proved to be the winning run.
- Piening ended up with the win by pitching 6.1 innings total. Only two of the five runs against her were earned and she allowed only four hits. She also handed out seven walks and struck out five. She's now 7-2 on the season.
- Beacham fell to 3-4 while allowing four earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- Seven of Florida Southern's nine conference games so far this season have seen the go-ahead run scored in the sixth inning or later. That was true in two of the three games at Rollins, all three games against Lynn, and two of three at Eckerd.
- Piening threw 160 pitches and Crawford threw 20 while facing four batters. Beacham threw 101 for Florida Southern.
- Bell went 2-for-3 with a walk for Florida Southern and Pemberton walked in three of her four trips to the plate. Trana and Klumpp each received two walks.
- Keisling was the only Rollins player with more than one hit in the second game, going 2-for-3 with one walk and she also stole two bases.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern will be at home for two mid-week non-conference doubleheaders next week. The first of those will be against Southwest Minnesota State at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the second will be against Claflin (SC) at 1 p.m. Wednesday.