FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Julianne Whitleigh solo home run in the top of the fifth propelled the Franklin & Marshall softball team to a 5-2 victory over Rockford on Monday. In game two of the Diplomats' (2-4) non-conference doubleheader, St. Mary's (Ind.) kept F&M off the board in a 5-0 defeat.
In a matchup with Rockford (2-1), the Diplomats jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second with a four-hit inning that was kicked off with an Ashley Hartshorn single.
Next up, Patricia Crigler sent F&M's fourth single of the frame to center field, scoring Schellaci from second and putting the Diplomats up 2-0.
The Regents answered with a three hit, two-run inning in the bottom of the third to tie the game up 2-2. F&M shot back in the fourth when Malorie Sassaman doubled to left center, scoring Murphy from second.
An inning later, Whitleigh led off with a solo home run down the left-field line to put the Diplomats up 4-2. In the sixth, F&M tacked on an insurance run that was started with Murphy's fourth single of the day.
The senior outfielder swiped second to get into scoring position before Tori Hytell sent her across the plate with a double.
Starting pitcher Justine Lohrey (2-1) earned the win after going seven innings and surrendering two runs on only four hits. Murphy sparked the offense from the leadoff position with a perfect 4-for-4 day from the plate, while scoring two runs and stealing a pair of bags. Sam DeNoville reached base safely twice with a single and a walk in a 1-for-3 effort.
Against St. Mary's (1-3), the Diplomats fell behind 1-0 in the first when the Belles hit back-to-back doubles with two outs. St. Mary's continued to tack on runs before sealing the game in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run, two-hit inning to cap off the 5-0 shutout.
F&M had difficulty at the plate, collecting five hits, none of which were for extra bases. The defense struggled as well, accumulating five errors on the day. Sarah Burke controlled the mound for the Belles, frustrating the Diplomats with a complete game, five-hit shutout.
Starting pitcher Kaitlin Zampino (0-3) was handed the loss after going six innings and allowing five runs, only one of which were earned. The junior right-hander gave up six hits and struck out three batters.
DeNoville was the only Diplomat to pick up multiple hits at the plate, collecting a pair of singles to finish the contest with a 2-for-3 effort.
F&M returns to action tomorrow with non-conference matchups against Elms at 1:00 p.m. and Wheaton (Ill.) at 3:00 p.m.