TAMPA, FLA. – Florida Southern's Aubrey Ehlers and Tampa's Makaleigh Dooley combined on the type of game pitchers can only dream of having, or maybe the type of game only pitchers dream about. The hitters on the other hand… Friday night in the opener of a three-game Sunshine State Conference series, Ehlers held Tampa to only two hits, and Dooley gave up just three, but the Spartans got both of theirs in the bottom of the fourth for a 1-0 win over the Moccasins.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Ehlers retired the Spartans (9-2, 3-1 SSC) in order during each of the first three innings before leadoff batter Stephanie Balmer singled through the left side of the infield to start the bottom of the fourth. Cristina Clauberg bunted her into scoring position and two batters later, Corynn Miner singled down the line into left, bringing in Balmer with the only run of the game.
- After the hit by Miner, Ehlers retired the final seven batter of the game, with a little help from catcher Zierra Flodman. On a softly hit ball hit by Maddie Farrell that trickled out toward the pitcher's circle, Flodman got out from behind the plate quickly and nipped her at first. Ehlers had no issues after that, and almost none in the entire game, as she finished her third complete game of the season. She struck out four and did not issue a walk, but despite giving up only two hits, fell to 3-2 on the season.
- Florida Southern (3-5, 1-3 SSC) had two of its three hits off Dooley in the top of the second inning with a pair of singles by Jessica Trana and Lindsey Wilson. That put runners at first and second with one out, but Dooley left them there with a fly ball and a pop up. The Moccasins' other hit came from Celia Higgins with two out in the sixth.
- In the top of the seventh, the Mocs got hard-hit balls from Maddi Conner and Wilson, but Miner caught both of them in centerfield for the final two outs of the game. She tracked down Conner's ball in right center before coming in to snare a line drive by Wilson. Dooley struck out nine and did not walk a batter, pushing her season totals to 61 strikeouts and just one walk in 47.0 innings. It was her third shutout of the year to go along with a 7-0 record.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Trana has hit safely in 10 straight games dating back to last season, matching the longest hitting streak of her career.
- The game took just one hour and 11 minutes to play, the quickest for the Moccasins since a 9-1, five-inning win over Georgia Southwestern on February 11, 2017 that took 1:10. It was their fastest seven-inning game since a 2-0 loss to Rollins on April 19, 2013 that also featured just five combined hits and took just 1:10.
- Ehlers threw just 57 pitches in the complete game for Florida Southern.
Florida Southern and Tampa will play again Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.