SAINT LEO, FL – Using a three-run homer by Bethany Kursch in the third inning, and key hits from the number eight and nine hitters in both the fourth and sixth innings, Saint Leo took the first of a three-game series with Florida Southern by the score of 6-1.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Saint Leo (26-10, 10-9 Sunshine State Conference) tested Kristen Beacham right out of the gate by putting two on with one out in the bottom of the first with a single by Ashley Morris and walk by Amanda James. The sophomore pitcher worked out of danger though, leaving both runners in scoring position with a called third strike against Kursch for the final out of the inning.
- Florida Southern (22-11, 9-10) had gone down in order in the top of the first but it took good defense by the Lions to keep the Mocs from possibly scoring in the top of the second. Zierra Flodman launched one to deep left leading off the inning, but Shyanne DuBois caught it with her back against the fence for the first out. Kensie Green then hit the first pitch of her at-bat hard up the middle, only to have it deflected by pitcher Alison Mitts over to shortstop Brittany Creamer, who threw her out at first. Robbed of two potential base runners, the Moccasins got a hit from Makayla Deuberry before Alli Carroll flied out to center to end the inning.
- Saint Leo put the first runs on the board in the bottom of the third. With the inning extended by an error, Sarah Pauscher delivered a two-out RBI single to put the Lions ahead 1-0, and Kursch followed with a three-run homer just to the right of centerfield.
- The Moccasins got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth after Jessica Trana drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a throwing error when Flodman reached safely behind her. Two hard-hit balls by Green and Deuberry followed, but both resulted in outs. Carroll then drove in pinch runner Annie Tracey with a single down the line in right, though Flodman was thrown out at home on the play by Pauscher.
- The Lions scored again in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch following two infield hits from the number eight and nine hitters, and a single up the middle by Kacie Kelly. They tacked on one more in the sixth, again after hits by Brittany Creamer and Sommer Pollard at the bottom of the lineup. This one came home on a base hit by Morris.
- Mitts finished the game for Saint Leo to improve her record to 9-5. She allowed one unearned run on six hits while striking out four and walking one. Beacham fell to 7-2 with the loss, giving up five runs (only one earned) in 4.0 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Aubrey Ehlers pitched the final 2.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits with one strikeout and no walks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Florida Southern was facing the reigning SSC Pitcher-of-the-Week in Alison Mitts, who had thrown a perfect game against Lynn in Saint Leo's previous series against Lynn. It's one of three perfect games thrown by SSC pitchers this season with the others coming from Nova Southeastern's Lexie Storrer and Florida Southern's Jenna Weldon.
- Flodman had her hitting streak stopped at a career-high 10 games, and her streak of reaching safely with a hit or a walk snapped at 16 games. Trana takes over the longest current streaks in both categories for the Moccasins as her single and walk on Wednesday night extended hers to eight straight.
- Deuberry and Desirae Klumpp each had two of Florida Southern's six hits off Mitts.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern and Saint Leo wrap up their series Thursday with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.