LAKELAND, Fla. (April 26, 2012) - 14th ranked Rollins (37-8, 18-4) just couldn't get anything going offensively against the Mocs of Florida Southern Thursday evening, dropping the series opener, 3-0.
Tars starter Hope Bitzer squared off with Mocs ace Christine Clark in front of a crowd of 117 at Barnett Field in game one of a three game SSC series that could weigh heavily on both teams' regional outlook. Rollins came into the series sitting comfortably in third place in the South Region while FSC came into Thursday's game on outside looking in, sitting in ninth place, also in the South Region.
After the Tars came up empty after a one out double by senior Lawna Hunter in the top of the first, it was Florida Southern who struck first in their half of the frame.
Bitzer was one out away from pitching herself out of her own runner on second and one out jam when Mocs senior Brittany Martin connected for her team leading eighth home run of the season, sending the Bitzer delivery well over the fence in left to score Steph Granziani to give FSC the early two run lead.
The Tars would only manage one hit the rest of the way, a single by sophomore Veronica Alred in the fifth, and the Mocs would add a run to their lead in the sixth as Clark (25-8) coasted to the complete game win. The senior from Naples, Fla. gave up no runs on just two hits while striking out 12.
Bitzer (20-4) suffered the loss, giving up three runs on five hits in six innings of work.
The Tars will look to bounce back in a double header Friday afternoon to finish up the series with the Mocs with game one scheduled for 1 pm. Fans can follow along on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.