SAINT LEO, FL – Saint Leo's Shyanne DuBois did a lot of damage with her bat and her legs in both games of Thursday night's Sunshine State Conference doubleheader, and Alison Mitts came out of the bullpen to shut down one Florida Southern rally in game one, and barely another in game two. That combination allowed the Lions (28-10, 12-9) to pick up 3-1 and 7-4 wins over the Moccasins (22-13, 9-12).
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Saint Leo used a hit batter, two stolen bases, and an infield single in the bottom of the second to score the first run of the game. It was DuBois who was hit on the elbow with one out in the inning, and the junior designated player, who ranks third in the SSC in steals, swiped second and third. That put her in position to score when Bailey McKenna lined a two-out single off the foot of third baseman Kensie Green. The ball caromed to Makayla Deuberry at short, giving her a chance to throw McKenna out at first but the throw was a split second late.
- Florida Southern answered in the top of the third after Desirae Klumpp ended up at third following a two-base throwing error and a passed ball. Shannon Bell brought her in with a line drive to left, a sacrifice fly that knotted the score at 1-1.
- DuBois helped the Lions regain the lead in the bottom of the fourth when she reached on a two-out infield single and promptly swiped another base. Immediately after that, Bethany Kursch dropped a single into short left-center that brought DuBois in with the go-ahead run. Moccasin pitcher Kelli Gault then hit two more batters to load the bases, and a single by Sommer Pollard gave the Lions another run and a 3-1 lead.
- The Moccasins went down in order against Auria Mounts in the fifth and sixth innings, but in the top of the seventh, Deuberry ended a string of eight consecutive outs with a walk. Mounts then went to a 1-1 count against Alex Mace before she was lifted in favor of Mitts. Mace, whose long foul ball was nearly a game-tying home run moments earlier, completed her at-bat with a single that put runners at first and second for the Mocs with one out. Mitts got the next two batters without incident though to close out the 3-1 Saint Leo win.
- Mounts improved to 13-5 with the win, going 6.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits with one strikeout and one walk. Mitts retired two of the three batters she faced with one hit allowed and no walks or strikeouts for her fourth save.
- Gault dropped to 6-6 with the loss, giving up three runs on four hits with one strikeout and no walks, though she did hit three batters. Kristen Beacham pitched two scoreless innings for the Mocs in relief, giving up one hit with no walks or strikeouts.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- The Moccasins grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning of game two on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Mace, who drove McKenna to the fence in the deepest part of the park. The lead did not last long though as the Lions struck for three runs in the bottom of the second, once more sparked by DuBois. Her leadoff single and 20th stolen base of the season set the table, as McKenna delivered an RBI single that tied the score, Kacie Kelly added a two-run single that put the Lions in front, 3-1.
- DuBois was a factor again in the bottom of the third, providing the Lions with another hit and steal before scoring on a base hit by Kursch. Following another single by McKenna and a pitching change, Brittany Creamer hit the first pitch she saw from Aubrey Ehlers for a three-run homer that made the score 7-1.
- The Moccasins fought back with two in the top of the fifth after Mace and Bell came up with base hits and scored on another single by Jessica Trana. That hit, which got the Mocs within 7-3, knocked starting pitcher Sara Neuman out of the game and forced the Lions to call on Mitts one more time. Having already won game one of the series as a starter on Wednesday night, and recording a save in the first game Thursday night, Mitts again stopped a Florida Southern rally by getting the final out of the inning with two runners on base. The Mocs did get to her, however, with a seventh-inning run when Klumpp doubled and scored on a base hit by Zierra Flodman, but Mitts got the final out to preserve the 7-4 win for Saint Leo.
- Neuman earned the win to improve to 5-0, going 4.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Mitts gave up one run on three hits, struck out one and walked one.
- Jenna Weldon took the loss for Florida Southern, falling to 4-2 after she allowed six runs on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk in 2.1 innings. After giving up the home run to Creamer on her first pitch, Ehlers shut out the Lions the rest of the night, scattering seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- DuBois went 4-for-6, was hit by a pitch once, scored four runs and stole five bases in the doubleheader.
- Trana, Flodman, Deuberry, and Mace all had hits in both games for Florida Southern Thursday night, and Deuberry was the Mocs' leading hitter in the series by going 4-for-8 with a walk.
- Trana extended her hitting streak to 10 games, making her the third Moccasin this year with a double-digit streak at some point. Bell had a 14-game streak earlier in the season, and Flodman had a 10-game streak that was snapped on Wednesday.
- Annie Tracey got the start in right field in game two and made two big defensive plays for the Moccasins. On a ball that should have been a base hit by Kelly in the bottom of the fifth, Tracey turned it into an out at second with a strong throw to Deuberry that forced out Pollard. She later made a sliding catch in short right to rob Pauscher of a hit in the sixth inning.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern returns to action next weekend, April 6-7, with a three-game series against 7th-ranked Palm Beach Atlantic. Game one is Friday night at 7 p.m., and Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.