Seven, Eight and Nine Hitters Spark Moccasins to 5-2 Win in Opener; Lock Haven Wins Game Two 4-0

Erin Klein
Erin Klein

LAKELAND – Sparked by its seven, eight and nine hitters in the lineup, which included junior pitcher Brandi Jones, Florida Southern got back into the win column Tuesday night with a 5-2 victory over Lock Haven (Pa.) before the Bald Eagles won the second game of the doubleheader 4-0 behind the pitching and hitting of Bekah Slattery.

The Moccasins (9-13-1) did all of their scoring in game one in either the third or sixth innings, with sophomore Amber Presto and Jones playing roles in both of them out of the #7 and #8 slots, and juniors Erin Klein and Katie Patterson doing so out of the #9 position. After going 1-for-2 with a stolen base in the first game, Klein would add two more hits in the nightcap. Senior Maggie Roberts and sophomore Ashlyn Worcester hit safely in each game too for the Moccasins, who also saw their pitching give up only five hits in each game.

Lock Haven pitcher Rachel Mouillesseaux set the Mocs down in order in the first two innings Tuesday night before Presto walked to start the third. Jones bunted her into scoring position and an infield hit by Klein gave the Mocs runners at first and third. A double steal that resulted in Presto coming home put the Mocs ahead 1-0 lead. Senior Jordan Alexander then walked and a fly ball by junior Erica Morrissey moved Klein over to third. Another stolen base, this one by Alexander, put two runners in scoring position for freshman Jessica Trana, who smashed a pitch to third base that appeared to hit hard off the wrist of Michelle Holweger and carom into foul territory. That brought both Klein and Alexander in for a 3-0 Moccasin lead.

Lock Haven (8-6) cut that down to 3-2 in the top of the sixth after a walk by McKenna Garlock and a double by Mouillesseaux. A bloop single by Becca Caputo that dropped just over the infield toward the line in right drove in Garlock and a sacrifice fly by Gabrielle Henson plated the other run for the Bald Eagles.

The Moccasins, however, got those runs back in their half of the sixth, again with the bottom of the lineup coming through. It started though with #5 hitter freshman Zierra Flodman drawing a walk followed by a single from Worcester. Presto drove in pinch-runner Annemarie Tracey with a base hit into right center, and Jones put down her second successful sacrifice of the night to put runners at second and third. Patterson was called upon as a pinch-hitter and got Worcester in with a ground ball to short.

Jones, who is now 5-4 on the season, then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to finish the game, giving the Mocs their 5-2 win. She allowed only five hits, struck out five and walked four.

Mouillesseaux fell to 4-3, giving up all five runs on six hits before she was lifted with one out in the bottom of the sixth. She struck out two batters and walked four.

Presto had two of those walks in addition to her run-scoring single in the sixth inning, giving her a perfect game at the plate.

In the second game, Lock Haven won 4-0 after scoring two in the third and two in the fifth, with Slattery scoring in each inning and Garlock driving in a run in each inning as well. Slattery limited the Moccasins to just five hits from the pitcher's circle too, striking out 10 and walking two as she improved her record to 4-3.

The only inning in which the Mocs had more than base runner was the fifth when they loaded the bases on a walk by Worcester, a single by Klein and a single by Alexander. Slattery escaped without giving up a run by inducing two infield pop ups. She retired eight of the last nine Moccasin batters, with Worcester picking up a single in the seventh inning against her. That gave the sophomore outfielder two hits and a walk in the doubleheader.

Garlock had 2-out RBI singles in the third and fifth innings for Lock Haven and also stole a base in each frame. Slattery walked and scored in the third, and doubled and scored in the fifth. In the other five innings the Bald Eagles were kept off the board by Trana and junior Hannah Loyer, who combined to match Slattery with only five hits allowed.

Trana (0-2) gave up three runs, two of them earned, on three hits in four innings before she was replaced following Slattery's double in the fifth. She had no strikeouts and one walk. Loyer allowed one run on two hits in 3.0 innings, striking out one and walking no one.

Florida Southern returns to Sunshine State Conference play this weekend with a 3-game series at home against Barry. Friday night's game begins at 7 p.m., with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.