AIKEN, SC – Makayla Deuberry's 2-run homer and three RBI helped back shutout pitching by Kristen Beacham and Jenna Weldon in game one, and fourth-inning home runs by Shannon Bell, Weldon and Kensie Green in game two supported a shutout by Kelli Gault and Aubrey Ehlers as Florida Southern swept South Carolina Aiken 8-0 and 5-0.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME ONE:
- After both teams wasted leadoff singles in the first inning, the Moccasins did not miss their second opportunity to score when Green drew a walk leading off the top of the second. Though an attempted sacrifice bunt turned into a force out at second, it didn't matter when Deuberry crushed the first pitch of her at-bat over the fence in left-center for her first career home run and a 2-0 lead for the Moccasins.
- The Mocs got two-out hits from Weldon (who started as the designated player) and Zierra Flodman in the third and fourth innings respectively, but their next big scoring chance came in the top of the fifth when their first two hitters reached on throwing errors. That put runners at second and third with none out, but the Pacers got out of it when shortstop Deja Robinson caught a line drive hit by Bell just off the dirt and was able to double up Lindsey Wilson on a close play at third. Second baseman Sarah Sams then caught a Weldon pop-up that nearly fell in for a hit but instead went for the third out of the inning.
- The Moccasins would erupt for six runs in the top of the sixth to win by the 8-run rule. They sent 10 batters to the plate, had five hits, one hit batter and were on the receiving end of one error that started the whole thing. That put Alex Mace on, and the Mocs quickly had the bases loaded when Green singled and Alli Carroll was hit by a pitch. A single by Flodman that bounced through the left side of the infield drove in the first two runs of the inning and an RBI single by Deuberry made it 5-0. Wilson and Desirae Klumpp made it four straight hits with RBI singles of their own, and the final run scored on a sacrifice fly by Bell.
- Beacham went the first four innings in the pitcher's circle and ran into only one serious problem, with that coming in the bottom of the fourth. The Pacers got three singles off her to load the bases with two out, but Beacham kept them from scoring when Carroll fielded a ball hit up the middle and flipped it to Deuberry coming across the bag from shortstop for the final out of the inning. Beacham allowed five hits (two of them infield singles), struck out two and did not issue a walk. She's now 1-0 with one save on the season.
- Weldon then finished off the Mocs' first shutout of the season by pitching the final two innings and allowing just one hit. She struck out two and walked one to earn her first save.
- The Moccasins had nine hits off the combination of Lyndie Dorgan and Caroline Cockrell. Dorgan fell to 1-1 on the season after giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 5.0 innings.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME ONE:
- Klumpp, Flodman and Deuberry all had two hits for Florida Southern and all of them drove in at least one run. Deuberry's three RBI were a career-high.
- Florida Southern was playing South Carolina-Aiken for the first time ever.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN GAME TWO:
- The first three innings saw no runs and only three base runners. The Pacers had both of theirs in the bottom of the second with singles by Kathleen St. Peter and Kristan Lowery before Gault struck out Janee McCarthy to end the threat.
- The scoring started moments after Gault had kept USC Aiken off the board. Bell hit the first pitch in the top of the fourth inning over the centerfield fence for her second home run of the road trip and Weldon hit the very next pitch for another home run to center. Two batters later Green went deep down the leftfield line for the Mocs' third home run of the inning and a 3-0 lead. It looked as if another ball would leave the park when Jessica Trana followed Green by driving a pitch to deep left, but that one hit the very top of the fence, missing by perhaps an inch as it bounced back in for a double.
- The Moccasins added to their lead in the top of the fifth when Wilson singled, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Weldon. Wilson also scored the Mocs' final run of the night when she walked in the seventh inning and came around on a single by Bell.
- Gault and Ehlers split the shutout much as Beacham and Weldon did in game one. Gault went the first 5.1 innings, scattering four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Ehlers pitched the final 1.2 innings with one hit allowed, no walks and one strikeout. The win for Gault was her second on the four-game trip to South Carolina.
- The Pacers' best chance to score came in the bottom of the fourth after the Mocs had hit their three home runs in the top half. Gault walked the leadoff batter, gave up a single to Hannah Price and hit Kathleen St. Peter to load the bases with none out. The sophomore came back, however, getting a force out at the plate and a pair of strikeouts to leave them loaded.
- Chandler Terrapin fell to 1-1 with the loss for USC Aiken, going the distance and giving up all five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS OF GAME TWO:
- The last time Florida Southern hit back-to-back home runs was March 7, 2004, in a game against Quincy (IL) that was played in Carrollton, Georgia. In the second inning of that game, Stephanie Huber hit a grand slam which was followed by a solo shot from Jackie Leppla. Those two home runs led the Moccasins to a 7-2 win, and it was the only previous time this century Florida Southern had back-to-back home runs. The Mocs have done that five times in their history.
- The last time Florida Southern hit three or more home runs came in another game played in Carrollton, Georgia, this one against the home team. The Mocs went deep five times in an 11-1 win over West Georgia on March 7, 2010, with Lindsey Powell and Christine Clark each hitting two, and Erin Foley adding a grand slam later in the game.
- The Moccasins have hit three home runs in an inning at least once before Thursday. In a 27-0 win over Claflin on April 7, 2006, the Mocs went deep three times as part of a 10-run explosion in the second inning. The first of those was a 3-run shot by current assistant coach Michelle Lovell (then Michelle Tatlock). Hitting home runs later that inning were Ashley Alpizar (2-run homer) and Marissa Chase (3-run homer). Chase had entered as a pinch-hitter for Tatlock.
- Florida Southern has already matched its home run total (5) from last year.
- After her home run in game one, Deuberry had another extra-base hit in the nightcap with a double.
- Wilson went 1-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base, and scored two runs and was the only Moccasin to hit safely in all four games on the road trip.
- Bell went 4-for-4 for the second 4-hit game of her Florida Southern career. She was the Mocs' leading hitter on the trip with a .462 average (6-for-13) in four games.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern opens a 10-game home stand on next Friday night (Feb. 16) when it hosts the University of Tampa in the first of a 3-game Sunshine State Conference series. That will also be opening night for the Moccasins' new home stadium, Chris Bellotto Field, with game time scheduled for 6 p.m.