FLORENCE, SC – A 2-run homer by Shannon Bell, a 2-run double by Alex Mace, and strong pitching by Kelli Gault and Kristen Beacham propelled Florida Southern to a 6-3 win over Francis Marion in game two after the Patriots used three home runs to power past the Moccasins 10-0 in game one of their season-opening doubleheader.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- The Patriots (3-1) used four extra-base hits to do almost all of their scoring in the opener, getting a 3-run double from Jaimie Harney in the bottom of the fourth, and a 2-run homer from Shania Domingue followed by a solo shot from Chelsea Welty in the fifth. That put them ahead 7-0 and they ended it by the run-rule with a 3-run homer by Taylor Johnson in the bottom of the sixth.
- The first three innings saw junior college transfer Aubrey Ehlers limit the Patriots to two hits, a double by Sam Chiudina in the first and a single by Johnson in the third. Both runners were stranded at second though when Ehlers struck out the final batter of the inning.
- Patriots' pitcher Sydney Holland retired the first eight batters before the Moccasins (1-1) got three straight base runners in the top of the third but were unable to score. Freshman outfielder Lindsey Wilson picked up the Mocs' first hit of the season but was later thrown out at the plate on a base hit by Bell.
- Following Bell's single, Holland set down the Mocs in order over the final three innings to complete her second shutout in as many starts this season. She struck out seven, walked one and allowed two hits.
- Ehlers pitched the first 4.2 innings for Florida Southern, giving up eight hits, striking out five and walking two. She gave way to freshman Jenna Weldon who finished the fifth inning with a strikeout and pitched the sixth inning.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- Shortstop Makayla Deuberry made the Moccasins' first impressive defensive play of the season. The junior went to her knees to make a backhanded stop against Jaimie Harney in the bottom of the third and threw her out at first from a half-sitting position, with Jessica Trana making the stretch to complete the play.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- The Moccasins stranded two runners in the top of the first and lost another in the top of the second on a double play before Bell delivered a 2-run homer in the third for a 2-0 lead.
- The scoring continued for Florida Southern with two more runs in the fourth inning. Freshman third baseman Kensie Green led off with a line drive one-hop double off the fence in left center and was replaced by pinch-runner Samantha Prosser who immediately stole third base. Two batters later, Zierra Flodman brought her in with a single punched through the right side of the infield that made it 3-0. Following a 2-out walk to Wilson that put runners at first and second, Desirae Klumpp looped a single over the head of third baseman Sam Chiudina that drove in Flodman for the Mocs' fourth run of the game.
- Francis Marion got on the board in the bottom of the fifth after back-to-back walks to start the inning. A double by Jessica Harney brought in the first of those and ended the day for Gault, who had shut out the Patriots for the first four innings.
- Beacham kept it a 4-1 game by taking over for Gault with none out and runners at second and third. She got the first batter she faced in the bottom of the fifth by fielding a soft ground ball hit to the pitcher's circle, freezing the runner at third, and throwing to first for the out. After walking Welty, Beacham got a strikeout and ground out to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
- Florida Southern picked up a pair of important insurance runs in the top of the seventh. A walk by Bell and single by Trana put two runners on base for Mace, and the sophomore designated player brought both of them in with a double to center.
- With the Mocs now leading 6-1, and the rain beginning to fall, the Patriots mounted a bit of a rally in the bottom of the seventh, only to have it come up short. A walk and a 2-out double put runners at second and third with one out, and they scored on an RBI single by Taylor DeLeon and a wild pitch. Beacham prevented further damage though by getting Jennie Polak to bounce into a force out at third for the final out.
- Gault earned the win by going 4.0 innings plus three batters in the fifth, and giving up just one run on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Beacham went 3.0 innings, and the Patriots scored two runs on two hits against her. She struck out two and walked three.
- Reece Davis (1-1) took the loss for Francis Marion by surrendering four runs on five hits with one strikeout and two walks in 3.2 innings. Holland, who had pitched the shutout in game one, set down eight of the first nine hitters she faced in game two, but the Mocs got two hits and one walk against her in the seventh and turned them into two runs. She also struck out five.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- Wilson went 2-for-4 with a walk and had a hit in both games. One of those put her on base in front Bell's home run. She was one of two freshmen who started both ends of the doubleheader, with Green playing third base, hitting one of the Mocs' three extra-base hits and handling all seven chances in the field.
- The runs Florida Southern scored in game two were the first against Francis Marion in four games this year.
- Florida Southern was playing in the state of South Carolina for the first time in team history and playing Francis Marion for only the second time. Their only previous meeting was 1-0 win by the Patriots in 2013 at a tournament hosted by Saint Leo.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern travels across the state to end its trip to South Carolina with a doubleheader against USC-Aiken on Thursday at 2 p.m.