LAKELAND, FL – Batting around in the bottom of the first inning, and scoring seven runs in the process, Florida Southern rolled to a 7-2 win over Minnesota-Duluth in game one of their doubleheader Monday afternoon, but the Bulldogs earned a split after scoring all of their runs in the third inning for a 3-2 win in the nightcap.
Florida Southern's seven first-inning runs came on eight hits, including two by leadoff batter Jadin Dewith. A two-run double by Alex Mace and a two-run triple by Maddi Conner were the big hits, giving Aubrey Ehlers plenty to work with the rest of the way. But a 2-0 lead in game two didn't last long as the Bulldogs used three hits and one Moccasin error to do all of their scoring in the top of the third. The two teams then combined for only three hits in the final 4½ innings with UMD starter Breanna Swint, and FSC relief pitcher Jenna Weldon trading one scoreless inning after another.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- Jessica Bren drew a walk to start the game for Minnesota-Duluth (9-10), and after a two-base error allowed her to move to third, a single by Lauren Oberle gave the Bulldogs a quick 1-0 lead. By the end of the inning though, the Moccasins (10-15) were firmly in control, and they started the bottom of the first by putting their six hitters on base and scoring four runs before the Bulldogs could get an out.
- Dewith and Makayla Deuberry started the inning with consecutive singles and moved up an additional base on an errant pickoff attempt at second. Dewith then beat the throw home when Jessica Trana hit a ground ball to short, tying the game while still keeping two runners on base. Kensie Green's single through the right side of the infield brought in Deuberry with the go-ahead run and Lindsey Wilson followed with a bunt single that loaded the bases for Mace. The junior outfielder nearly became the first Moccasin to hit one out of the yard since Chris Bellotto Field opened when she banged a double off the fence in left, bringing in two more runs to make the score 4-1. Starting pitcher Sam Pederson then got the first out, but Conner tripled to right center to knock in two more runs, and an RBI single by Meghan Sexton made it 7-1. With the lineup already turned over, Dewith came up again and delivered her second hit of the inning but Oberle kept the Mocs from scoring anything more when she made a tough play at her shortstop position against Deuberry and turned it into an inning-ending double play.
- That 7-1 score nearly remained on the board for the rest of the game, but UMD did score once more in the top of the fourth on an RBI double by Kalynn Tilton. Any further damage was prevented by catcher Zierra Flodman and Deuberry, who thwarted a double steal attempt by the Bulldogs, with the Moccasin shortstop taking the throw in front of the bag and returning it home to catch Tilton.
- Ehlers (9-7) ended up going 6.0 innings for the win and giving up seven hits, but both of the runs against her were unearned. She struck out three and her only walk went to the first batter of the game. Weldon pitched the seventh inning by striking out the side.
- Pederson fell to 5-3 with the loss, but the Bulldogs got an outstanding game from Swint in relief. The junior pitched the final five innings for UMD and gave up only two hits, one to Flodman in the third and the other to Trana in the fourth. She did have to work around three walks and a hit batter but did not allow a run.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- The last Moccasin prior to Dewith who had two hits in one inning was Deuberry in an 11-8 win over Barry last year (bottom of the sixth.
- All nine Florida Southern starters had a hit, though Dewith was the only one with two. Trana, however, had one hit and two walks, while Mace had one hit and one walk.
- Green had a single and was hit by a pitch and might have had another hit, but was robbed on a sliding catch by UMD leftfielder Sammi Sadler in the second inning.
- Tilton and Lauren Greeder each had two hits for Minnesota-Duluth.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- In game two, the Bulldogs threatened to score again in the top first inning when Bren led off with a triple, but Kristen Beacham struck out the next three batters and two-of-three in the second inning. The Mocs then claimed the lead in the bottom of the second after Green reached on an error and Samantha Prosser singled sharply into left to put their first two hitters of the inning on base. Mace made it three in a row with a single to center, and Green scored the first run when Flodman grounded out to short. Prosser later scored on a wild pickoff attempt at third, putting the Mocs ahead 2-0.
- Minnesota-Duluth came right back with three runs in the top of the third though, tying the game on a single, error, and two-run triple by Taylor Koehnen into the right field corner. Erin Thompson's single to left brought in Koehnen to make it 3-2 and end the scoring for the day.
- Beginning with Flodman's ground out in the second inning that drove in their first run, the Moccasins were held to only one base runner among their final 17 batters of the game. That was a single by Conner in the fifth, who was bunted into scoring position by Shannon Reilly, but stranded at second. The Mocs had several hard-hit balls from the second through fifth innings, but the Bulldogs were in position for the outs. Two of those were hit right back to Swint in the pitcher's circle, one of which she caught in the air off the bat of Mace, and the other a hard grounder at her ankles by Flodman. Flodman also drove one into the left centerfield gap in the bottom of the seventh, but centerfielder Erin Thompson tracked it down for the final out.
- Swint pitched a complete game for the win, improving her record to 4-6 by holding the Mocs to two unearned runs on four hits with one strikeout and no walks.
- Beacham fell to 0-2 for Florida Southern, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 2.1 innings. The Moccasins got 3.2 scoreless innings of relief from Weldon, who gave up two hits, struck out one and walked two. Ehlers pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with one strikeout.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- Beacham's five strikeouts equaled the most by any Florida Southern pitcher in a game this season, and the seven strikeouts combined were the most by the Moccasin pitching staff in a game.
- Koehnen was the only player from either team to have more than one hit, going 2-for-4 for UMD.
- Weldon pitched a total of 4.2 innings in the doubleheader for Florida Southern, with only two hits allowed. Swint pitched a total of 12 innings for Minnesota-Duluth and gave up just six hits.
- Minnesota-Duluth was the regional runner-up from the Central Region last year, falling to Southern Arkansas in two games during the super regionals. The Bulldogs were completing a 10-game trip to Florida, and return seven position starters in addition to Swint, who was 21-5 a year ago.
Florida Southern will play two games in Clermont on Tuesday, taking on St. Michael's (VT) at 12 p.m., and American International immediately thereafter.