LAKELAND – After missing the previous nine games, Kensie Green wasted no time in re-asserting herself as one of the Moccasins' top run producers, staking Florida Southern to a 4-0 lead after one inning Friday night in the series opener against Barry. After the Buccaneers cut that lead down to one run by the sixth inning, Shannon Bell came through with another big hit before an unconventional double play ended the game in the top of the seventh and gave Florida Southern a 6-3 win.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Florida Southern (20-10, 7-9 Sunshine State Conference) batted around in the bottom of the first inning, scoring four runs on four hits, and it was Green who did half the damage. The Moccasins had already scored two runs on RBI singles by Zierra Flodman and Makayla Deuberry and had the bases loaded with two out when Green singled into left center, driving in Flodman and Jenna Weldon. The base hit came on the first pitch Green saw in her return from the disabled list and it gave the Moccasins a 4-0 lead.
- Barry (17-17, 2-8) went hitless the first time through the lineup against Kristen Beacham but came up with two runs the second time through the order in the top of the third inning. A walk by Peyton Rawls following a long battle with Beacham got the Bucs started, and an infield single by Alayna Gallagher put runners at first and second for Anieliese Palmeiro. Her double into right-center sent both Rawls and Gallagher home, cutting the Mocs' lead down to 4-2.
- The Bucs added another run in a strange sixth inning sequence that could have been worse for the Moccasins. Geneva Santos led off the inning with a double to end Beacham's night, and Aubrey Ehlers came on to get the first batter she faced on a pop-up to Deuberry. Brittany Phillips then hit one deep in the hole at short that looked like it would certainly get through into leftfield for a hit, but Deuberry got to it first, shocking Santos who was suddenly hung up halfway between second and third. The Mocs completed the run-down play for the second out as Phillips ended up at second following the infield single. Sam Busekrus stepped up and hit a shot to Alex Mace at second, who knocked it down to keep it on the infield dirt but couldn't throw Busekrus out at second on another infield hit by the Bucs. With Phillips heading home, Jessica Trana tried to get the out there, but the throw was late, giving Busekrus the chance to take second. She never made it as Flodman threw her out to end the inning, though Barry had trimmed the Mocs' lead down to 4-3.
- In the bottom of the sixth, the Moccasins awoke again when Lindsey Wilson and Desirae Klumpp legged out infield singles in front of Bell. The Moccasin centerfielder, who is hitting nearly .600 with runners in scoring position, came through again with a single into right-center that scored both runners and gave the Mocs a 6-3 lead.
- The top of the sixth inning had a strange enough ending, but the top of the seventh was even more unusual. The Bucs had runners at second and third with one out following a walk by pinch-hitter Lynsey Duncan, a single by Gallagher and a wild pitch. Palmeiro then hit a bouncer right to Weldon at third, and Duncan was too far off the bag to get back safely. After avoiding a tag attempt she tried to come home, but Weldon threw her out as Gallagher took third. Palmeiro tried to sneak into second, somewhat successfully as the throw from Flodman was too late, but when Gallagher tried to score on the play, the return throw from Mace to Flodman was in time for a bizarre game-ending double play.
- That made a winner of Beacham, who is now 6-1 on the season after pitching 5.0 innings, and allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Ehlers went 2.0 innings for her second save, giving up one run on three hits with one strikeout and one walk.
- Christie Falcon took the loss for Barry, which ended her personal 7-game winning streak. The Moccasins got to her for 10 hits while scoring six runs. Falcon walked one and did not have a strikeout as she fell to 9-6.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Klumpp and Bell each had two of Florida Southern 10 hits. Klumpp is the only player on the team who has not had two hitless games in a row all season.
- Gallagher and Phillips had two hits apiece for Barry.
- With her two RBI, Green is now the seventh Moccasin this year to hit double digits.
- Prior to Friday night, Falcon had been 7-0 with one save and a 2.09 ERA in her previous 11 appearances.
UP NEXT: Florida Southern and Barry wrap up their series Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.