CLEARWATER, FL – One night after one freshman tossed a shutout in her collegiate debut, the Moccasins turned to another freshman on Saturday and got a similar result. With Kelli Gault holding Eckerd scoreless into the fifth inning, strong relief work from two other pitchers, and RBI singles from three different players, Florida Southern (2-0) won its second game of the Eckerd College Invitational by defeating host Eckerd 3-1 Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Gault pitched the first 4.1 innings and allowed three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. She started the game with back-to-back strikeouts before a triple by Rachael Luckett gave the Tritons (1-1) their first base runner. Gault worked around that by getting an infield popup. A leadoff walk in the bottom of the second gave Eckerd another runner, but fifth-year senior Leah Pemberton turned a 4-3 double play to erase that one. Gault was eventually replaced by senior Hannah Loyer in the bottom of the fifth after a one-out double by Dana Paul, and Loyer worked out of trouble to keep Gault's scoreless pitching line intact.
- Loyer gave the Moccasins another scoreless inning in the sixth before walking Paul to start the seventh. That brought freshman Kristen Beacham into the game following her 4-hit shutout Friday night. Beacham got into trouble with back-to-back walks that loaded the bases with none out, but pitched her way out of it with confidence. Though the Tritons did score on an error after the third walk, Beacham got Amber Schaad to bounce into a 5-2-3 double play and a foul pop-up ended the game. That made Gault the winner while giving up three hits, three walks and striking out three batters, and Beacham picked up her first save.
- By the time Gault took the ball, the Moccasins were already up 1-0 after scoring in the top of the first inning. Junior Shannon Bell reached on a dropped fly ball, moved to second on a walk to junior Erica Morrissey, and came home on a base hit by Pemberton.
- The Moccasins scored their other two runs in the top of the fourth. With runners at first and third with one out after singles by sophomore Makayla Deuberry and freshman Alex Mace, sophomore Annemarie Tracey singled toward the line in left to bring in the first run of the inning, and junior Shannon Bell brought in the second one with another RBI single that made the score 3-0.
- The Moccasins got their leadoff hitter on in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but were unable to score again. Tracey nearly had her second RBI of the game in the sixth, but Eckerd third baseman Chelsea Armstrong snared a line drive that was headed down the leftfield line again, and held the runner at second.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Moccasins had hits from eight different players, including two by Morrissey who was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. They had nine hits as a team off Nikole Van Gennep, who went the distance for the Tritons but fell to 1-1.
- The Moccasin pitching staff combined for eight walks but for the second game in a row allowed only four hits.
- Florida Southern will play its final game of the Eckerd College Invitational at 4 p.m. Saturday against No. 17 Saint Leo in another non-conference game against a Sunshine State Conference school.