MIAMI SHORES, FL – Jessica Trana drove in runs in both the first and third innings to stake Florida Southern to an early 3-0 lead, and Alex Mace put things out of reach with a three-run homer in the fifth as the Moccasins downed Barry 7-3 in the opener of their Sunshine State Conference series.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern (14-17, 6-13) was the first team on the board when Jadin Dewith started the game with an infield single and came home on a two-out double by Trana. That same combination worked again in the top of the third when the Moccasins scored their next runs to go up 3-0. Dewith led off that inning with another infield hit, and took second on a single by Makayla Deuberry. Celia Higgins bunted both of them into scoring position, and Dewith scored when the throw to third on a pickoff attempt went off the glove of Peyton Rawls into left field. Trana then ripped a pitch right back at Gabby Vallee that was hit hard enough for a single up the middle, but the Barry pitcher reflexively knocked it down and threw to first base for the out. Despite the out, it was enough to get Deuberry in from third for the third run of the game.
- The Moccasins added to their lead again in the top of the fourth. Mace nearly cleared the fence in left center but settled for a leadoff double, and Zierra Flodman singled her to third. The Moccasins were robbed of a third straight hit when Barry right fielder Savannah Starling made a diving catch in the gap against Maddi Conner, but Mace tagged at third on the play and easily scored the Mocs' fourth run of the game. It was a crucial catch by Starling after Kensie Green followed with another single, but Vallee left runners at second and third with consecutive ground outs to end the inning.
- In the top of the fifth, the Mocs got consecutive singles from Higgins and Trana before Mace launched an 0-2 pitch to deep left, and this one did leave the park for her first home run of the season. That extended the Mocs' lead to 7-0.
- Barry (11-28, 4-12) cut into that lead in the bottom of the sixth, breaking up what had been a two-hit shutout by Aubrey Ehlers through five innings. Ehlers got the first out of the sixth before Lynsey Duncan doubled to left center. She was forced to hold at second when Starling reached on an infield single to third, but came home with the Bucs' first run when the Mocs were unable to complete a double play with Rawls hitting. After a single by Andrea Johnson, the Bucs scored two runs on a hit by Berlin Colvin.
- Ehlers finished the game with a 1-2-3 seventh that pushed her record up to 13-8 on the season. She gave up six hits, struck out two and walked one. The first two hits against her were infield singles in the first and fifth innings and defensive help was provided by Conner, Dewith and Deuberry. Conner went high at first base to stop a big bouncer by Duncan that brought the third inning to a close, and Dewith made a running over-the-shoulder catch in deep center to take a hit away from Colvin to end the fourth. Deuberry then turned a 6-3 double play that brought the fifth inning to a close.
- Vallee fell to 9-18 with the loss for Barry as the Moccasins got to her for seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits. Vallee struck out three and did not walk a batter.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Trana went 2-for-3 and was one of four Moccasins with two hits in the game. The others were Dewith, Deuberry, and Mace. Dewith now leads the team with 10 multi-hit games, one more than Higgins.
- Deuberry extended her hitting streak to nine games and Dewith has hit safely in six straight with 10 hits in those games. Higgins has reached with either a hit, walk, or hit by pitch in 13 straight games.
- The Moccasins had lost their last 11 games at Barry coming into Friday night's contest. Their last win had been an 8-5 decision in the first game of the 2011 series.
Florida Southern and Barry conclude their series on Saturday with a doubleheader that has been moved up one hour and will now start at 12 p.m.