LAKELAND – If Jessica Trana's coming-out party was last Friday night against Colorado Christian, then the party was still going strong on Tuesday. The freshman from Sunrise, Florida collected three hits, one walk and three RBI at the plate and also made her first appearance as a pitcher to help the Moccasins defeat Western Ontario 7-0 and 4-0.
Trana started the scoring Tuesday with a 2-run triple in the first inning of game one and also had an RBI single in the first inning of game two. She later doubled to set up another run, making her 5-for-7 with five RBI in the last three games. Her pitching debut came in the first game of Tuesday night's doubleheader when she pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with one strikeout to close out the 7-0 win for junior Brandi Jones.
Jones went the first six innings and allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks to improve to 3-1. Junior Sydney Koch, who is now 2-0, took the ball in game two and went the distance while keeping the Mustangs off the board again. She gave up seven hits but did not walk a batter and picked up four strikeouts. It's the first time the Moccasins swept a doubleheader without allowing a run since March 11, 2014 when they beat American International 2-0 and 7-0.
Florida Southern (6-2) did all of its scoring in game one in the first four innings and collected 11 hits while doing so. Senior Jordan Alexander, junior Erica Morrissey and freshman Zierra Flodman, who were the top three hitters in the lineup, all had two, as did junior Erin Klein. Morrissey also had three RBI, and Alexander and Trana each drove in two runs.
Trana's two RBI came on her first-inning triple into the rightfield corner that brought in Morrissey and Flodman for a 2-0 lead. The Mocs scored two more in the second inning when Klein and Alexander singled with two out and came home on a double by Morrissey.
The Mocs added three more in the fourth inning after singles by freshman Makayla Deuberry, junior Dana Mackiewicz and Klein loaded the bases with none out. Two of them scored on a double by Alexander, and Klein scored on a sacrifice fly by Morrissey.
Jones had few problems with the Mustang lineup, though she had to work around a leadoff triple by Shannon Davidson in the second inning. The Mustangs put their first two runners on base in the fifth inning with singles from Riley Cunningham and Robyn Wood, but Jones left them on base too.
The Moccasins again struck for two first-inning runs in the nightcap. Alexander and Morrissey started the game with a bunt single and an RBI double to make it 1-0, and Trana gave them another run with an RBI single. It remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Trana led off with a double, and back-to-back sacrifice bunts by Deuberry and sophomore Ashlyn Worcester got pinch-runner Jordan Sheppard all the way home.
The Mocs' final run in the 4-0 win came in the fifth when Klein singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Flodman. It was another bunt single by Alexander that pushed Klein into scoring position, and it gave Alexander four hits in the doubleheader.
Koch's shutout didn't come easy, as the junior college transfer gave up seven hits, with six of them coming in the first three innings. All seven, however, were singles and with no walks, Koch gave the Mustangs nothing extra. She also helped her own cause with splendid defense in the pitcher's circle, picking up five assists and one putout.
Elsewhere, Koch got a big assist from Alexander, who threw a runner out at the plate from centerfield in the top of the first when Davidson had picked up the Mustangs' third hit of the inning. Another runner was caught in a rundown that resulted in an inning-ending double play. Deuberry then turned another double play from her shortstop position to end the second inning, and Koch maneuvered around two more singles in the third.
From that point forward though, Koch was almost untouchable. She retired 13 of the final 15 Mustang hitters with only one hit allowed over the final four innings. The Mustangs hit just one ball out of the infield during that time.
Florida Southern will begin Sunshine State Conference play on Friday when it travels to Boca Raton to open a 3-game series with Lynn University. The first game is Friday at 3 p.m., and the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.