LAKELAND – Florida Southern scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning Friday night to jump out to a 3-0 lead, and still led 3-1 going into the seventh. That's where Rollins pushed across two runs to force extra innings before scoring the winning run in the top of the eighth to take a 4-3 victory over the Moccasins.
Despite out-hitting Rollins, Florida Southern (16-6, 5-5) fell victim to a strong relief outing by Grace Street, who was originally in the lineup as the designated player but spent most of the night in the pitcher's circle. Entering with one out in the bottom of the first, Street held the Moccasins to four hits and no runs the remainder of the game as the Tars (17-11, 5-5) came back for their fifth straight win. It ended a six-game winning streak by the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Moccasins (16-6, 5-5 Sunshine State Conference) started strong when Desirae Klumpp walked to start the bottom of the first and stole second with Jessica Trana batting. The Moccasin first baseman then doubled to left, bringing in Klumpp with the first run of the game. Following a walk to Zierra Flodman, Jenna Weldon drove in another run with a single down the line in left and a wild pitch moved both she and Flodman along an extra base. That ended the night for starting pitcher Abby Summers and brought Grace into the game as a pitcher.
- Grace got the first batter she faced but Makayla Deuberry made it a 3-0 game with an RBI single into left center. Weldon tried to score too, but centerfielder Jordan Davis threw her out at the plate. That was the last for Florida Southern until Trana singled with two out in the fifth.
- Rollins got on the board in the top of the third when Davis reached on a bunt single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Talia Kentoffio. That was the Tars' last hit until the seventh.
- The bottom half of the seventh started with the Moccasins holding a 3-1 lead, but after pinch-hitter Jenny Goldshear walked and Sarah Harrison singled, the Tars had their first two hitters on base and turned the lineup over back to Davis at the top. A wild pitch moved them to second and third, and Goldshear scored on an error, making it 3-2. Chandler Middlebrook followed with a single that brought in Harrison with the tying run, still with none out. Kelli Gault, who had come in to face Davis, kept it that way even after a walk loaded the bases, giving the Mocs a chance to win in their half of the seventh.
- Klumpp led off that inning for Florida Southern with a single into short left, and the Mocs got her to second with a sacrifice bunt but she was stranded there after a well-hit ball by Flodman was caught in right for the third out.
- In the top of the eighth, Brianna Ernst was hit by a pitch to start the inning and bunted to second by Tayler Holt. After a wild pitch moved her to third, Ernst came home on a Florida Southern error, putting the Tars ahead for the first time in the game. Street then retired the Mocs in order in the bottom half of the eighth to get the win.
- Street improved to 7-3 with the win, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings while giving up only four hits, striking out four and walking two.
- The Moccasins used three pitchers, with Kristen Beacham starting and going the first 4.1 innings. She gave up one run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Aubrey Ehlers pitched 1.2 innings in relief and surrendered two runs (one earned) on one hit with two strikeouts and two walks. Gault came on in the top of the seventh with two runners on base and pitched 2.0 innings with one run allowed (unearned) on one hit with one strikeout and one walk. She took the loss to fall to 5-3.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Rollins has played five extra-inning games this season and is now 3-2, and the Moccasins are 1-2 in extra-inning games. The Tars have had one extra-inning game in all four of their conference series this season.
- The last seven games between Florida Southern have either been decided by one run, or were tied going into the sixth inning.
- Trana had a perfect night at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and a sacrifice bunt. Weldon also had two hits and one RBI for Florida Southern.
- Middlebrook was the only Rollins player with two hits.
- The teams combined for six sacrifice bunts with three from each.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern and Rollins will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.