LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Southern College softball swept the University of Minnesota-Duluth in a doubleheader on Wednesday night at Chris Bellotto Field. The Mocs used a rally in the seventh inning to earn a walk-off victory. Strong pitching in the second game led FSC to a 4-1 victory. The Mocs are now 10-14 as UMD moves to 9-12 in 2020.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Florida Southern 6, Minnesota-Duluth 5
- Senior pitcher Kristen Beacham started the game strong getting the first two batters out. The Bulldogs would extend the inning and jump out to 2-0 lead off of two hits and a Mocs error.
- Southern would get one back as the first three batters reached on a walk, infield single, and base hit down the leftfield line. With the bases loaded junior catcher, Kensie Green would ground into a double play that saw freshman outfielder Jessica Bryson score from third.
- Beacham worked around a two-out infield hit to put zero on the board in the top of the second.
- The Mocs hitters would complement the zero by Beacham with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Junior Jenna Weldon opened the half-inning with a single up the middle and sophomore second baseman Celia Higgins would get hit by a pitch followed by a walk to freshman shortstop Kelsey Peck to load the bases with no outs. Senior outfielder Alex Mace sent a base hit up the middle to drive in Higgins and Jessica Smith, who pinch ran for Weldon, to give the Mocs a 3-2 lead. Bryson would walk to reload the bases and after a pitching change by the Bulldogs, the runners would advance 60 feet as Peck scored on a wild pitch to make it a 4-2 Southern lead. With two outs, senior third baseman Meghan Sexton would have a productive out as she drove in Mace from third on a groundout. The Mocs would lead 5-2 after two innings.
- The Bulldogs would use a two-out, two-run homer off the bat of Sidney Zavoral to cut the Mocs lead to just one. Southern would go down in order in the bottom half of the third inning.
- After a quiet fourth inning for both teams, the Bulldogs catcher Jessica Bren would send a ball over the leftfield wall to tie the game at 5-5.
- The Mocs would threaten in the bottom of the fifth inning but were unable to push a run across the plate.
- Beacham would do her job in the top half of the seventh inning to give her offense a chance to win the game. Sophomore outfielder Jadin Dewith led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single and would advance into scoring position as Green grounded out for the second out of the inning. Conner would step to the plate with two outs and drive in the winning run as she sent a ball to left-center to score Dewith from second.
- This would be the Mocs' first walk-off win since they walked off on the Eagles of Embry-Riddle in the second game of a March 23, 2018 doubleheader for a 9-8 victory.
Florida Southern 4, Minnesota-Duluth 1
- Freshman pitcher Kaylee Cowart made the start for the Mocs in game two and sat down the first three batters she faced. She would work around a one-out bases-loaded situation in the top of the second to keep the Bulldogs off the board.
- Mace would stroke a two-out double to left field to drive in Higgins and Conner to put the home team up 2-0.
- Cowart would get another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third as all three batters grounded out to the left side of the infield.
- The Mocs defense would help out their freshman pitcher in the top of the third as they erased a leadoff single with a double play to keep Minnesota-Duluth still searching for a run in game two.
- Green came up to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no one out. She would send a base hit to center field to drive in Dewith and Bryson to double the Mocs lead at 4-0.
- Minnesota-Duluth would add a run in the top of the sixth to end the Mocs bid for a shutout. Cowart's night would end after she gave up an RBI base hit with one out in the top of the sixth. Weldon would come in to get the final two outs to end the Bulldogs threat.
- The junior pitcher would work around a two-out double to strike out the final batter to earn her first save of the season.
The Mocs are amidst a 14-game homestand at Chris Bellotto Field as they will play 17 of their 20 games in March at home. The Mocs will host Eckerd College this weekend for three games beginning on Friday night. The games will be closed to the public due to public health safety concerns. For more information regarding Florida Southern and the COVID-19 please click here.