Early Runs Give Rollins 8-1 Win Over Florida Southern
LAKELAND – Florida Southern’s pitching limited the best hitting team in the Sunshine State Conference to only five hits Friday night, but Rollins turned them into eight runs in the first two innings to take the opening game of a 3-game series by the score of 8-1.
The Tars (31-10, 14-5) came into the game hitting .314 as a team, and were one of only two teams in the SSC averaging more than eight hits per game. Florida Southern was the other one, yet they combined for only eight between them Friday night. The Tars though also received seven walks, six of them in the first or second inning when they also had all five of their hits. Three of those walks were driven in by Rollins third baseman Hilary Brown, who had a 2-run double in the first and a 2-run single in the second.
The Moccasins (21-15, 7-9) were held without a hit by Niki Fogle until junior Kim Booker (Bartow, Fla.) led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single up the middle that turned into their only run. Fogle, who is now 20-5, allowed just two hits in six innings, striking out three and walking no one before Hillary Hon pitched the seventh inning, giving up one hit and a hit-by-pitch.
For most of the night, Florida Southern pitchers Brandi Jones and Chelsea Oglevie were even better than that, not surrendering a hit or a run over the final five innings, but the first two innings couldn’t be erased. After Oglevie relieved Jones with one out in the top of the second and walked the first batter she faced, the senior from Tampa retired the next eight Rollins hitters in order. Jones (10-6) then re-entered to pitch the final three innings and set down another eight in a row before a walk to Brown with two out in the seventh. The freshman from Snellville, Georgia finished with seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings, but walked six. Oglevie fanned one batter in her 2.2 scoreless innings and walked one.
After three of the first four Rollins batters of the game walked to load the bases, Brown gave the Tars a 2-0 lead with a double down the left field line. Chelsea Reed followed with a triple to right center that scored two more runs, and the fifth run of the inning scored on an error.
Another walk to Hailee Keisling started the second inning, and after back-to-back 1-out singles by Kristie Hoeffer and Veronica Alred, Brown drove in two more runs with a single. Brittany Johnson’s sacrifice fly put the Tars up 8-0.
The Moccasins avoided the shutout in the bottom of the fifth after Booker’s leadoff single. Sophomore Leah Pemberton (Valrico, Fla.) bunted freshman pinch-runner Jamie Graziani (New Castle, Pa.) into scoring position, and an infield hit by senior Heather Brinkmeier (Port St. Joe, Fla.) moved her to third. The Mocs got their run when senior Allasyn Lieneck’s fly ball to center was deep enough to score Graziani.
Junior Priscilla Gonzalez (Miami, Fla.) had Florida Southern’s third hit with a single in the seventh and nearly had another, but Rollins shortstop Jessica Gipson robbed her of one with a diving catch in the fourth.
Florida Southern and Rollins will play again on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m.