LAKELAND, FL – With Florida Southern ahead by three runs in game one, Lynn University put four runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning to get a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Moccasins, and then pulled off a similar comeback in game two with another four-run sixth that gave the Knights an 8-4 victory. The Saturday sweep allowed Lynn (13-16, 4-5 Sunshine State Conference) to take the series after Florida Southern (8-10, 4-8) had won the opener on Friday, 5-2.
The Moccasins led 3-0 behind Kristen Beacham in game one Saturday after the junior had allowed only two hits through the first five innings. But the Knights batted around in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on three hits, a hit batter, a walk, and one error.
In the nightcap, Florida Southern fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first but took the lead after scoring two in the bottom of the first and two more in the bottom of the second on another big hit by Samantha Prosser. After the Knights tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth, they again scored four runs in the top of the sixth to get the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Beacham's day started with back-to-back singles from the first two batters in the Lynn lineup, but she struck out the next two and got a fly ball to right to escape the top of the first inning without allowing a run. That started a stretch of 17 batters in which the Knights had only two base runners from the first through fifth innings, and neither of those were a hit.
- Florida Southern took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Jadin Dewith reached on a high infield chopper that went for an infield single, moved to second on a base hit by Celia Higgins, and third on a throwing error before coming home on a wild pitch. The Moccasins added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Jessica Trana and an RBI single by Alex Mace after Higgins had led off the inning with her second hit of the day.
- The 3-0 lead did not hold up, however, as the Knights busted out for four runs just half an inning later. It started when Beacham hit Shayle Arenson with her first pitch in the top of the sixth and Mia Veliz hit the next pitch for a single. A walk by Elizabeth Diaz loaded the bases before Kayla Sheffield delivered a two-run single to draw the Knights within one. Pinch-runner Georgia Ohren and Sheffield would both eventually score on an error, putting Lynn on top 4-3.
- Lynn pitcher Allyson Jameston retried the Mocs in order in the bottom of the sixth and got two outs in the seventh before Lindsey Wilson kept the game alive for Florida Southern with a base hit into center. Jameston got Maddi Conner to fly out to right, however, to end the game.
- Jameston earned the complete game win for Lynn, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk as she improved to 4-8 on the season. Though she pitched five shutout innings to start the game, Beacham took the loss for the Moccasins, falling to 0-1, in only her second start of the year. She gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Kelli Gault came in with one out in the sixth and retired all five batters she faced at the end of the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Higgins and Mace each had two of Florida Southern's hits, helping the Mocs out-hit the Knights 8-5.
- Makayla Deuberry returned to the lineup after a one-game absence and went 1-for-2 with a walk.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- In the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, the first two innings took nearly an hour to complete as Lynn and Florida Southern combined for seven runs, nine hits, and five walks during that time. Both coaches were forced to go the their bullpens in the first inning, and the Knights ended up getting 6.2 innings from Olivia Saviskas, who got the win after first giving up the lead and then holding the Mocs scoreless for the final five innings.
- Lynn's first inning totals included three runs on four hits and a walk as five of the first six batters reached base, including four-of-five against FSC starting pitcher Aubrey Ehlers. The Knights scored their runs on three consecutive plays with a ground out by Veliz, a double by Sheffield, and a single by Diaz that forced the first pitching change of the game. Gault gave up a hit to the first batter she faced, but not a run, before setting down the next eight Lynn batters through the top of the third.
- Gault's pitching gave Florida Southern a chance to mount a comeback, and they did so with two in the first and two in the second. The Moccasins put five consecutive batters on base against Sheffield and Saviskas, which started with a walk by Deuberry and an RBI triple by Higgins. After Sheffield walked Trana, Saviskas took over for the Knights, walked Prosser to load the bases, and gave up an RBI single to Mace. A force out at the plate and infield pop-up kept the score at 3-2, but the Mocs got to her again in the bottom of the second when singles by Jenna Weldon and Dewith came home to score on another bases-loaded single, this one by Prosser.
- Gault took Florida Southern into the fourth inning with a 4-3 lead, but two costly errors gave the Knights two base runners, and one of them tied the game on a bunt by Britney Purser. The Knights had another run erased on a would-be sacrifice fly by Arenson when Makayla Caballero was called out on appeal after leaving third base two early. That resulted in a double play to end the inning and left the game knotted 4-4.
- The Knights took charge in the top of the sixth by scoring four runs with only one ball hit out of the infield. That was a leadoff single by Sophia Devesa, who later scored the go-ahead run on a bunt single by Purser that was pushed through the infield all the way to edge of the outfield grass. Another run scored on an infield hit by Mackenzie Wyatt, and the Knights scored their final two runs on a pair of double steals.
- Saviskas closed out the game for Lynn by retiring 15 of the final 18 Moccasin batters. The only players to reach base for the Mocs during that stretch were Conner with a single in the third, and Trana with a double in the fourth and single in the seventh. The sophomore allowed two runs on seven hits overall in 6.2 innings, struck out three and walked two to improve her record to 2-1.
- Ehlers took the loss for Florida Southern, falling to 7-4, after she re-entered the game in the top of the fourth. Ehlers got the fly ball double play that ended that inning and set the Knights down in order in the fifth, but was charged with all four runs in the sixth.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Beacham finished the game in the circle for Florida Southern by retiring five of the six batters she faced with a pair of strikeouts and one walk. That gave her 7.0 innings for the day, and three earned runs on only five hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Gault gave the Moccasins 5.2 innings of relief in the doubleheader and allowed only one run (unearned) on two hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
- Trana went 2-for-2 with two walks in game two, and was 3-for-5 in the doubleheader. Higgins and Mace also had three hits on Saturday between the two games.
- Prosser had four RBI in the series with her two-run triple on Friday and two-run single in game two Saturday.
- Purser had three sacrifice bunts, a bunt single, one RBI and two steals on the day for Lynn.
- Lynn has won the last four series between the two teams that have been played in Lakeland or Auburndale, but Florida Southern has won the last four played in Boca Raton. Only one of those was a true sweep for either team, with the Mocs winning all three games in 2014. They also won twice at Lynn in 2016, but the third game ended in a tie because of darkness.
- The Mocs still lead the all-time series with Lynn 50-21-1.
Florida Southern hosts Hillsdale College from Michigan in a doubleheader Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Chargers are the reigning champions of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and an NCAA Tournament team from last year.