CARLISLE, PA -- Pitcher/first baseman Alison Barrett (Sr., South Plainfield, NJ/South Plainfield) tossed a seven hit 3-2 win, earned a save in a 6-4 win and hit three-for-seven with a run scored and an RBI as the Franklin & Marshall College softball team swept a doubleheader from Dickinson College.
In game one, Barrett went the distance throwing seven innings for her 14th complete game of the season as she allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts in a 3-2 win.
The Diplomats scored all they would need in the fifth as Morgan Marks (Fr., Furlong, PA/CB East) and Kristyn Miller (So., Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) singled to put two runners on base with one out. A series of errors allowed the Diplomats to plate two runs as Jonelle Coletta (So., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ/Point Pleasant Beach) reached first base on a fielding error by Dickinson third baseman Jessica Klipphahn, advanced to second and moved to third on an error by rightfielder Jessica Davis to plate Marks and Miller for a 2-0 lead. Coletta raced home on a sacrifice bunt by Leah Shams-Molkara (Sr., Eastchester, NY/Tuckahoe) for the winning run.
Dickinson did not score until the seventh as Megan Spears singled with two outs before Lori Scheetz dropped a bunt to put two runners on base. Alex Speace drove in both runners with a triple to right-centerfield, but Barrett got Jen Bullick to pop-up for the final out.
Historically, Scheetz's bunt set a new school record for Dickinson as she broke the base hit record as she notched her 144th career hit to keep the two-out rally alive.
At the plate, Marks led the way for F&M going two-for-three with a run scored as the team totaled seven base hits in the game.
Starting pitcher Jen Fried (Sr., Reisterstown, MD/Franklin), Coletta and Barrett held the Red Devils to three base hits in the nightcap as F&M built a 5-0 lead to hold on for the 6-4 victory.
The Diplomats jumped on the board in the first inning with three runs as Fried walked and stole second base. Dana Johns (So., York, PA/Eastern York) grounded out to move her to third and Allison Pavero (So., Malvern, PA/Notre Dame Academy) reached on an error by Speace at shortstop to score Fried. Barrett and Marks singled to leftfield to load the bases before Miller roped a single to score Pavero and Barrett for a 3-0 lead after a half inning of play.
Franklin & Marshall tacked on a run in the second as Shams-Molkara singled to leftfield, stole second base and moved to third on a groundout by Fried. With two outs, Laura DePalma (Jr., Toms River, NJ/Toms River) singled to drive in Shams-Molkara for a 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, Barrett singled to left-centerfield and Marks singled to leftfield to put two runners on before both advanced a base to move into scoring position on a fly-out by Miller before Coletta singled to drive in Barrett for a 5-0 lead after two and a half innings.
The Devils responded in the bottom of the third as Davis and Brittany Zehr walked to leadoff the inning. Zehr was forced a second base on a fielder's choice by Lisa Laudenberger to move Davis to third base before she scored on a sacrifice fly by Scheetz to cut the lead to 5-1 with two outs. Speace singled to second base and stole second base to put two runners in scoring position as Bullick singled to drive in both and make the score 5-3.
Following a pitching change from Fried to Coletta, Bullick advanced to third on a wild pitch before Coletta struck out Christine Czarnecki on a full count to close out the inning.
Dickinson tacked on another run in the fifth off Barrett as Laudenberger walked, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a fielding error by DePalma on a ball off the bat of Bullick to trim F&M's lead to 5-4. With a runner on second and two outs, Barrett terminated the Devils' threat by getting Czarnecki to ground out to DePalma.
Franklin & Marshall got the run back in the sixth as DePalma doubled down the rightfield line, moved to second on a single by Pavero past the pitching circle and scored on a single by Barrett for all that she would need to earn a save.
Holding a 6-4 lead, Barrett allowed one hit in the sixth before getting a strikeout, a ground out and a fly out in the seventh to record her third save of the season and up her career total to five.
The sweep keeps F&M in the Centennial Conference playoff hunt as the Diplomats upped their record to 10-6 in Conference play to set up an intriguing race to the final out of the CC regular season. Currently, Ursinus (10-1 CC), Gettysburg (10-4 CC), Muhlenberg (8-6 CC), F&M and McDaniel (8-4 CC) will vie for the four playoff berths over this week.
However, to earn a spot, Franklin & Marshall College needs Gettysburg to finish either first or second in the CC title race to win a tiebreaker with Muhlenberg, as F&M went 1-1 against the Bullets and Muhlenberg was swept, or for Haverford College to knock off the Mules on April 24 in a neutral site doubleheader at Moravian. The Diplomats could also get in over McDaniel as the Green Terror, which swept F&M earlier this year, needs to lose three of their final four Centennial Conference games versus Swarthmore (4/24) at home and at Dickinson (4/26).
Franklin & Marshall has already made history this year as the 2004 team equaled the program's best Centennial Conference record of 10-6 established by the 2002 team and are secured of equaling the all-time best finish of fifth set by the 2000 and 2002 teams. Further, the current Diplomats (15-16, 10-6 CC) have a chance to tie for the best record since the 1991 season (20-8) set by the 2002 team which finished 17-15 overall.
F&M will continue the season on April 24 at home versus York College of Pennsylvania in a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.