LAKELAND – Valdosta State's Caitlyn Calhoun pitched a 5-inning no-hitter in game one and Chelsea Canara blew the game open with a fifth-inning grand slam, and the 17th-ranked Blazers used 3-run first and third innings in the nightcap to defeat Florida Southern 8-0 and 6-1 Tuesday night.
The Moccasins' only base runner in game one was senior Maggie Roberts, who was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the fifth. She was then erased on a double play as Calhoun faced the minimum 15 batters in the game, which was ended by the 8-run rule after five innings. The First Team All-American and 2015 Gulf South Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year had five strikeouts in pitching her ninth shutout of the season while running her record to 13-4. She also no-hit the Mocs in Valdosta last year.
Valdosta State (20-8-1) did all of its scoring in the fourth and fifth innings, which included a 2-run homer by Hayley Cruthers in the fourth and Canara's bases-loaded home run in the fifth. Heather Robinson was on base for each of those home runs after an error in the fourth and a walk in the fifth. Cruthers also walked ahead of the grand slam by Canara as the Blazers scored their eight runs on six hits.
In the second game, Valdosta State put its first five batters of the game on base, which included four straight doubles they used to score three runs. One of those came from Robinson and produced the first two runs, and Canara had another 2-base hit that made it 3-0 in favor of the Blazers.
The Blazers later put their first four batters on in the top of the third before relief pitcher Hannah Loyer restored order for the Moccasins (10-17-1). The junior pitched 4.0 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit, struck out two and walked three.
Florida Southern scored its run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Ashlyn Worcester reached on a 2-base error to start the inning and came home on a double by junior Beri Scott. The Moccasins had two more doubles in the game from freshman catcher Zierra Flodman, while Roberts walked once and was hit by a pitch for the second time in the doubleheader.
Worcester, freshman Jessica Trana and sophomore Amber Presto also had hits in the second game for Florida Southern, which had a total of six off Calhoun and Huntyre Elling. Elling started and pitched the first five innings as she improved to 6-4. She gave up one unearned run on three hits, struck out two and walked one. Calhoun pitched the final two innings and gave up no runs on three hits with one strikeout and no walks.
Florida Southern will open up a 3-game series at #11 Saint Leo on Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.