AUBURNDALE, FL – With Florida Southern's offense struggling somewhat early on in its doubleheader with Claflin (SC), head coach Chris Bellotto turned things up a bit with some aggressive base running that brought the Moccasins to life in the latter stages of game one for a 5-4 victory. In game two, the offense really didn't need that extra push as Zierra Flodman and Leah Pemberton each drove in three runs to lead the Moccasins to a 10-2, five-inning win over the Panthers.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Game one was scoreless until a two-run homer by Shaquailla German put Claflin (9-11) ahead 2-0 in the top of the fourth. That was one of only three hits allowed by Moccasin starting pitcher Brandi Jones in her 5.0 innings of work Wednesday afternoon.
- The Moccasins (12-8) were held to just three hits in the game by the combination of Tiaria Norman and Yemaya Rich, but they were the beneficiaries of seven walks, four wild pitches and two passed balls. The Panthers also committed four errors, and three of those factored in the scoring.
- One of those errors put Pemberton on to start the bottom of the fourth and a passed ball moved her to second. After a ground out by Ann Scios moved her to third, Pemberton crossed the plate on a second passed ball to cut the deficit to 2-1.
- Florida Southern took its first lead of the game by scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth on just one hit. That was a leadoff infield single by Desirae Klumpp, who was bunted to second ahead of a walk to Erica Morrissey. When the Mocs pulled off a successful double steal, the throw to third went down the line, allowing Klumpp to score the tying run. A wild pitch moved Morrissey to third and she later scored on a ground out by Jessica Trana. When Flodman, who had reached on a walk, came home to score on another wild pitch, the Mocs were ahead 4-2.
- That lead did not hold up however, as the Panthers reached relief pitcher Hannah Loyer for two runs in the top of the sixth. They started that inning with three straight hits, including a triple by leadoff batter Chelsea Hall and a double by Chelise Morman. The tying run scored on a fly ball by Kayla Cato before Loyer struck out the next two batters.
- The Mocs re-claimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Klumpp again beat out an infield single to give them life. For the second time in the game, Shannon Bell put down a perfect sacrifice bunt, but this time Klumpp never stopped running. With Klumpp going first to third, the Panthers attempted to throw her out from across the infield, but the ball ended up in foul territory and allowed Klumpp to score on the play, giving the Mocs a 5-4 lead.
- The Panthers did not go quietly in the seventh. Loyer picked up another strikeout to start the inning but the Claflin batting order followed with a single, a walk and another single to load the bases with one out. Jones re-entered the game at that point and got Lee to hit into a force play at the plate and Morman to fly out to center to end the game.
- Loyer ultimately ended up with the win, her first decision of the 2017 season, when the Moccasins were able to come back in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Even though Jones started the game and pitched the first 5.0 innings, she earned the save by getting the final two outs after re-entering. She allowed two runs on only three hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
- Relief pitcher Yemaya Rich took the loss for Claflin, falling to 2-3 after allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout and one walk in 1.1 innings. Starter Tiaria Norman gave up only two hits in 4.2 innings, but she also walked six batters, and the Mocs scored four runs (three earned) against her. Norman also had two strikeouts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- Klumpp had two of Florida Southern's three hits and the other came from Trana. Morrissey had three walks and Flodman walked twice. Morrissey also stole two bases after her walks.
- Hall and Lee each had two of Claflin's eight hits.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- Claflin also scored first in game two, using a leadoff walk, an error, ground out and wild pitch to move Hall around the bases for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Hall would later hit an inside-the-park home run with two out in the fifth inning for Claflin's final run, but in between it was all Florida Southern.
- The Moccasins scored two runs in their half of the first inning, which started with back-to-back singles by Bell and Morrissey. A sacrifice fly by Flodman tied the game and an RBI single by Pemberton put the Moccasins ahead to stay.
- The Mocs scored three more in the second inning, highlighted by an RBI single by Morrissey and two-run double by Flodman. Annemarie Tracey then worked her way around the bases in the third inning with a stolen base and two wild pitches to give the Mocs a 6-1 lead.
- The fourth inning saw Florida Southern score four times after Morrissey, Flodman and Trana all walked to start the inning. A single by Pemberton brought two of them in for an 8-1 lead, and after Alex Mace singled to re-load the bases, Tracey's chopper down the line to third resulted in an infield hit for another run, and an error that allowed the 10th run to score.
- Kelli Gault pitched all five innings for Florida Southern to improve to 5-1 on the season. She gave up only one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts and five walks.
- LaKaylin Lee fell to 1-2 for Claflin by giving up five runs, all earned, in 1.1 innings. She struck out one and walked one.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- With Claflin pitchers issuing six walks, the teams combined for 11 walks in the game. The two Claflin pitchers also threw six wild pitches, giving them 10 in the doubleheader.
- Morrissey had four walks and three hits in the two games combined after going 2-for-2 with one walk in the nightcap. She scored three of the Mocs' 10 runs in game two and picked up her third stolen base of the afternoon.
- Flodman, who walked twice in game one, was 1-for-1 with a walk and a sac fly in game two.
- Between the hits and walks, Morrissey, Flodman, Trana, Pemberton, Klumpp and Tracey all reached base at least twice in game two.
- Bell had two outfield assists in the doubleheader, giving her four this season.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern opens up a 3-game series against Embry-Riddle on Friday night with a single game at 7 p.m. The Moccasins and Eagles will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.