LAKELAND – Trailing by three runs after the first inning of game one Saturday, Florida Southern fought back to tie the game, but saw Rollins use another 3-run inning to take the lead and come away with a 7-3 victory over the Moccasins. In game two, it was the Moccasins who scored first before the Tars came back and held on for a 2-1 victory to complete the sweep.
In each game, Niki Fogle came out of the bullpen to help Rollins (11-3-1, 3-0 Sunshine State Conference) get the win after she had pitched them to a 5-3 victory in the series opener Friday night. The senior relieved Erin Fortney to start the fourth inning in game one after Florida Southern (8-5-1, 2-3) had cut the gap to 3-1, and though she gave up the lead when the Mocs scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth, she still got the "W" when the Tars re-claimed it with three in the top of the sixth. In game two, with the tying run at second and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Fogle was called upon to relieve Grace Street and got the final out to preserve that win.
The Tars came out in game one with four hits in the top of the first inning and at one point had five straight batters reach base. That streak started when #2 hitter Jule Kranz blooped a ball into short left center that was nearly caught by a diving Hannah Whisman. Tiffany Osmanski then singled up the middle and Brianne Lint walked to load the bases, setting up back-to-back RBI singles by Chelsea Reed and Brittany Johnson and a bases-loaded walk by Hannah Horwath.
FSC junior starting pitcher Sydney Koch settled down after that and kept Rollins off the board on just two hits over the next four innings as the Moccasins rallied. They even scored their first run without picking up a hit themselves. Starting the bottom of the third with consecutive walks by juniors Beri Scott and Erin Klein, the Mocs got one of them in with a sacrifice fly by junior Erica Morrissey.
Morrissey gave the Moccasins another run with an RBI double in the fifth after Klein had reached on a throwing error and stolen second. Morrissey was able to score not long after that on a ground out by senior Maggie Roberts, tying the game at 3-3. The Mocs still had runners at second and third when Whisman hit a ground ball to Kranz at short and her throw to first barely beat the freshman outfielder for the final out of the inning. The Mocs were unable to secure another base runner after that as Fogle set down the final seven batters of the game.
In the top of the sixth, Rollins had two on when leadoff hitter Hailee Keisling came to the plate with one out and singled up the middle to drive in one and put the Tars ahead 4-3. Kranz had another single up the middle for another run and Keisling came around to score after a passed ball and wild pitch. The Tars would add another run in the seventh for the final margin.
Fogle earned the win with her four innings of relief to go to 7-3 on the season, giving up two unearned runs on four hits with one strikeout and one walk. Fortney had given up one run on no hits in three innings before that, though she issued four walks. Koch, who is now 3-1, pitched 6.1 innings for the Moccasins and gave up six runs (four earned) with four strikeouts and two walks.
Florida Southern scored the first run of game two in the bottom of the second when Trana led off with a single, was bunted to second by Whisman and took third on a ground out by freshman Makayla Deuberry. Koch, who was playing second base in the nightcap, then singled sharply off the glove of pitcher Grace Street to bring in Trana for the first run of the game.
Rollins got the score tied half an inning later following a leadoff double by Keisling. Kranz put down a sacrifice bunt to get her to third, and a fly ball by Osmanski brought her home.
The Mocs threatened again in the bottom of the fourth when a single by Whisman and an error put runners on first and second with two out. Klein nearly kept the inning going when she got down the line quickly on a ground ball hit to Osmanski at third, but Keisling was able to keep her foot on the bag at first while taking the throw for the final out of the inning.
The Tars claimed the lead in the top of the fifth without benefit of a hit. Sid Masso walked to start the inning and ended up at third base when the third sacrifice bunt of the game by Kranz was misplayed for an error. Now with runners at first and third, the Tars got the run home as Kranz attempted to steal and Masso broke for home when the throw went down to second. When the ball went through to the outfield, the Mocs had no chance to get the runner at the plate where Masso scored what proved to be the winning run.
The Moccasins' final chance to get the game tied came in the bottom of the seventh when senior Jordan Alexander doubled with two out. That brought Fogle into the game and following an intentional walk to Morrissey she got the final out for the 2-1 win.
Street moved to 3-0 on the season with the win, allowing one run on six hits in 6.2 innings. She struck out two and walked one.
Junior Brandi Jones fell to 4-3 with the loss for Florida Southern though she surrendered only one earned run on four hits in the complete game effort. Jones struck out two and walked four.
Alexander had two of Florida Southern's six hits, and Morrissey and Whisman each had a hit and a walk.
Florida Southern will be at home during the middle of the upcoming week for a pair of non-conference doubleheaders against Ferris State (Tuesday at 6 p.m.) and Flagler (Wednesday at 6 p.m.).