Moccasins Threaten Early But Saint Leo Pulls Away Late for 6-0 Win

Jordan Alexander
Jordan Alexander

SAINT LEO – Samantha Tyler had some early challenges against Florida Southern Sunday night in a makeup game from Saturday's rain-out, but with some late-inning help from Alana Tabel, was able to give 9th-ranked Saint Leo its 17th shutout of the season and a 6-0 win over the Moccasins.

The Moccasins were matched up against a pitcher who had allowed only one earned run and four total runs in her first 35.0 innings this season, but they put Tyler to the test on Sunday. They began with a leadoff single by senior Jordan Alexander in the top of the first, and the Mocs got her into scoring position before leaving her at second base. The Mocs then got two hard-hit balls from freshman Zierra Flodman and junior Hannah Loyer in the second inning, but Saint Leo first baseman Samantha Ohmie speared the first one, and leftfielder Tiffany Thompson made a diving catch to take a hit away from Loyer.

In the top of the third, the Moccasins (10-20-1, 3-8-1 Sunshine State Conference) received back-to-back 2-out singles from Alexander and junior Erin Klein, but stranded both of them. Freshman Jessica Trana then doubled with two out in the fourth, and again Tyler was able to get the final out of the inning to keep the game scoreless.

Saint Leo (26-1, 11-1) broke through in the bottom of the fourth after cleanup batter Ciera Schumaker was hit by a pitch with one out. Though she was erased on a force out, Stephanie Adkins stole second and came home on Brittany Creamer's 2-out single into the right centerfield gap.

The Lions added two more runs in the fifth as they loaded the bases with one out on three straight hits (two of them infield singles) from the top of the order. A ground out to second by Schumaker brought in Thompson with one of those runs, and Rachael Heath scored the other on an error.

Saint Leo blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning with three unearned runs, scoring one directly on an error, and two more on an RBI triple by Heath and a sacrifice fly by Brooke Samios-Uy.

Starting pitcher Brandi Jones gave up only two earned runs to the Lions before she was relieved by Trana with one out in the fifth with the bases loaded. The junior gave up seven hits, struck out two and walked none. She also helped the Moccasins out with her glove by making three plays when the Lions tried to bunt on her and catching a line drive at her shoe tops hit by Samios-Uy. Jones fell to 5-8 with the loss though she and Trana held Saint Leo to only two earned runs.

Tyler moved her record to 6-0 with the win, pitching the first five innings and giving up four hits and no walks with two strikeouts. Tabel pitched the final two innings with one hit allowed, and matched Tyler with two strikeouts and no walks.

Florida Southern returns to action on Thursday night at home when it hosts Palm Beach Atlantic in a single game with a 7 p.m. start.