ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – With one run in the first and two more in the second, Eckerd College took control of the game early and added another run in the fifth to come away with a 4-0 win over Florida Southern in the opener of the team's three-game Sunshine State Conference series.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Tritons (6-10, 2-5) had an unusual first inning, striking out three times against Aubrey Ehlers, but also collecting four singles they turned into their first run of the game. The first was a hard-hit ball by leadoff batter Kaylin Kramer, but the next two were a bunt single by Hannah Famiano and a slow bouncer into the hole at short. Kassy Torres then singled through the left side of the infield to bring in Kramer before Ehlers got consecutive strikeouts to keep it at 1-0.
- The bottom of the second started with a walk and a bloop single by Jessica Wilson into short right field. Kramer then delivered another hit for the Tritons, this one just inside the right field line that bounced all the way into the corner for a triple that made it a 3-0 game.
- The Moccasins (6-7, 2-5) picked up their first hit in the top of the third when Alex Mace ripped a line drive off the glove of Torres at third, but they were unable to get her home. It looked like the Mocs would get another leadoff double from Celia Higgins in the fourth, but left fielder Kayelee Newstrom tracked it down in the gap before it landed. They did get a leadoff hit from Samantha Prosser in the fifth, but left her at third.
- The Tritons used back-to-back one-out singles by Torres and Madison Saltzman in the bottom of the fifth to knock Ehlers out of the game, and Newstrom greeted Kristen Beacham with an RBI double that made it 4-0. Beacham prevented further damage with two strikeouts to end the inning.
- Nikole Van Gennep worked around a walk by Zierra Flodman in the sixth and another double by Mace in the seventh to complete her third shutout of the season. She held the Moccasins to three hits, struck out seven and walked two while improving her record to 4-6.
- Ehlers fell to 5-3 with the loss, giving up four runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings. She struck out four and walked one. Beacham pitched the final 1.2 innings and after giving up the double to the first batter she faced, retired the final five Tritons of the game. Two of those came via strikeout.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- By going 2-for-3 with two doubles, Mace is 5-for-13 in her five starts in right field for a .385 batting average.
- Higgins was hit by a pitch in the top of the first and could have easily had two hits for the Moccasins in her two official at-bats. Newstrom's running catch in left center took a double away from her in the fourth inning and Van Gennep snatched a line drive out of the air in the sixth.
Florida Southern and Eckerd conclude their three-game series on Friday with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.