AUBURNDALE, FL – One night after a dominating 14 inning-plus performance by Brandi Jones, the Moccasins turned to the other members of their pitching staff on Saturday and got more of the same. Behind freshmen starting pitchers Kristen Beacham and Kelli Gault, and two relief outings by Hannah Loyer, Florida Southern held Embry-Riddle to a total of nine hits in the doubleheader, and the Mocs got a 2-run homer from Jessica Trana in game one that led to a 3-0 win. The Eagles though picked up a 2-1 win in the nightcap to take two-of-three in the weekend series.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Florida Southern (13-10) scored its first runs in the bottom of the first inning on Trana's shot to straight-away center. It was the first career home run for the sophomore first baseman.
- In the bottom of the fourth, Zierra Flodman, who had been on base with a single when Trana homered, nearly went deep herself with a ground-rule double to left. Two batters later, after Jordan Sheppard had entered to run for Flodman, Leah Pemberton singled into right center to give the Mocs a 3-0 lead.
- In the pitcher's circle Beacham held the Eagles (12-12) to only three hits through the first six innings before Loyer came on to pitch the seventh and complete the Mocs' fourth shutout of the season. Beacham had to pitch through only two tense situations during her time in the game, one of them right at the outset after she hit leadoff batter Eryn Chester. After Chester stole second and was bunted to third, Kassidy Simons hit a ground ball to Pemberton at second, who threw Chester out at the plate trying to score. The second instance came in the top of the sixth when an error and a base hit put two Eagles on base for Kendall Funk. The Embry-Riddle third baseman and number five hitter ripped a line drive toward third base that was grabbed by Erica Morrissey who threw back to Pemberton at second to double up pinch-runner Natalie Morales.
- When Loyer came in to start the seventh she gave up a soft single to Gaby Obia leading off the inning but worked around it for her second save of the year, which gave Beacham her fifth win of the season. In addition to allowing only three hits in her 6.0 innings of work, Beacham struck out three and walked one as she upped her record to 5-4.
- Illona Andringa fell to 7-6 for Embry-Riddle as she allowed three runs (two earned) on only five hits. She struck out five and walked two.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- Flodman had two of Florida Southern's five hits and also walked giving her a perfect game at the plate. After catching all 15 innings Friday night, Flodman served as the designated player and Alex Mace started as the Mocs' catcher.
- Saturday was the fourth time in eight starts for Beacham in which she has allowed either no runs or one run.
- Loyer now has four career saves, with all of them coming since last April.
- Embry-Riddle's four hits came from two players, with Maggie Scott and Gaby Obia picking up two apiece.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- Embry-Riddle scored both of its runs in the first three innings with one in the second and one in the third. The Eagles loaded the bases in the second inning on a single by Funk, a walk and a hit batter, with a base hit by Destiny Carroll plating the first run of the game. In the third inning, a leadoff single and stolen base by Anna Battison turned into the second run when Funk later hit a ball to left for a sacrifice fly.
- The fly ball by Funk started a stretch of eight consecutive outs by Gault who ran into trouble in the sixth when she hit two batters sandwiched around a single by Scott. Loyer kept the bases loaded though by coming into the game with two out in the inning and striking out pinch-hitter McKenzee Quinn.
- Still down 2-0, the Moccasins put Flodman on base to start the bottom of the sixth when the sophomore catcher reached via an Embry-Riddle error. Shepard, who was in as a pinch-runner for the second time in the doubleheader, eventually scored on a two-out single by Makayla Deuberry.
- After Loyer blanked the Eagles again in the top of the seventh, the Moccasins got two base runners in the bottom half of the inning. Shannon Bell singled and took second on a passed ball, and Morrissey reached on an error to put runners at the corners with one out. But the Mocs were unable to execute a squeeze play and Bell got thrown out trying to get back to third, and pitcher Kassidy Simons got a ground out on the next pitch to end the game.
- Simons picked up her second win of the series after pitching six scoreless innings of relief Friday night. In her starting assignment Saturday she gave up one unearned run on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk to improve her record to 5-6.
- Gault fell to 5-2 after giving up two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. Loyer pitched the final 1.1 innings, retiring four of the five batters she faced with one strikeout and one walk.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- Bell, Morrissey and Pemberton all had two hits for the Moccasins with Deuberry picking up their seventh hit.
- Scott had her third 2-hit game of the series for Embry-Riddle and was the only player to hit safely in all three games for the Eagles, something Morrissey and Pemberton both did for Florida Southern.
- Florida Southern leftfielder Desirae Klumpp had two outfield assists, one of them on a force play at third base that ended the second inning on a ball hit by Eryn Chester. She then started an inning-ending double play in the inning. The last Moccasin with two outfield assists in one game was Allasyn Lieneck, who threw two runners out at the plate against West Florida in 2013. It's the 12th time in team history a Moccasin outfielder has had two assists in one game, and Klumpp is only the third to do that from leftfield. The others are Donna Patterson against Stetson in 1987, and DeAnna Novoa against Bloomsburg (PA) in 1993.
- Florida Southern and Embry-Riddle combined for only nine runs in the 3-game series, with a 15-inning game on Friday essentially making it the equivalent of four games. There were exactly three runs scored in all three games.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern will travel to Barry for a 3-game series next weekend, March 17-18, playing a single game against the Buccaneers that Friday night at 7:00, and a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.