CLEARWATER, FL – Freshman Alex Mace delivered the first big hit of her college career Saturday, giving Florida Southern the lead against 17th-ranked Saint Leo. The Lions, however, came back from that with three runs in both the second and third innings and went on to a 6-3 win over the Moccasins to end the second day of the Eckerd College Invitational.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The teams combined for five runs in the second inning, with Florida Southern (2-1) scoring two in the top half and Saint Leo (4-0) scoring three in the bottom half. The Lions then tacked on three more in the bottom of the third to take a 6-2 lead.
- The Moccasins took their 2-0 lead when Mace doubled just inside the right field line to bring in both Leah Pemberton, who had singled with one out, and Zierra Flodman, who had followed Pemberton with a double.
- The Lions quickly answered after loading the bases to start the bottom of the second on a pair of hits and a fielder's choice on a bunt when the Mocs couldn't get the out at third. Brittany Creamer then hit a pop fly to Pemberton at second, who caught the ball with her back to the plate. Kacie Kelly alertly tagged at third and came home on the catch, resulting in an odd infield sacrifice fly. An RBI single by Alyssa Wash tied the score and a ground out by Rachael Heath brought in the go-ahead run.
- The Lions also put their first three batters of the fourth inning on base and got all three of those in too. The first of those scored on a throwing error when Ciera Schumaker was attempting to sacrifice, Sarah Pauscher followed with a sacrifice fly, and a ground out by Bailey McKenna drove in Schumaker to make it 6-2.
- The Moccasins weren't finished scoring either. After Shannon Bell led off the top of the sixth with a double, Desirae Klumpp got her to third with a fly ball, and another fly ball by Erica Morrissey brought her home.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Senior Brandi Jones made her first start of the season and pitched a complete game for the Moccasins. Four of the six runs against her were earned. The Lions had 12 hits, and Jones had one strikeout and one walk. Four of the hits against Jones were infield singles.
- Jones got defensive help from Klumpp in the bottom of the sixth when the Moccasins' new leftfielder threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning.
- The Moccasins turned a double play for the third game in a row. This one came on a line drive hit to shortstop Makayla Deuberry who doubled a runner off second.
- Florida Southern's six hits and three runs came off Saint Leo's Stephanie Adkins, who also had five strikeouts and no walks to improve to 2-0. Three of those strikeouts came in one inning. In their one game against Adkins last year the Mocs had one unearned run on three hits and struck out nine times.
- Pemberton had two of Florida Southern's six hits and was the Mocs' leading hitter in the tournament, going 5-for-9 with a walk and two RBI.
- Florida Southern will be in St. Augustine next weekend for four games on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11. Friday's games will be at 1 p.m. against Flagler and Georgia Southwestern at 5:30 p.m.