LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team closed out its regular season on Saturday afternoon against Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) action, falling 7-3 in game one of a doubleheader, followed by an 8-2 loss in the nightcap. The Diplomats end 2013 with a 16-20, 6-10 CC record, while the Mules move on to the postseason at 28-7-1, 14-2 CC.
The 2-0 lead held until the top of the fourth, when Muhlenberg's Taylor Trifiolis hit a 2-1 pitch over the leftfield fence for a three-run homer. The Mules tacked on two more in the frame to pull ahead 5-2.
After Muhlenberg extended its lead to five at 7-2 with a two-run top of the sixth, F&M began to show some life in the bottom of the seventh.
With two outs, the Diplomats hit three-straight singles, capped off by DeNoville's to left field that scored Nicole Casey from third and brought the tally to 7-3. However, F&M grounded out in its next at bat to end the game.
Kaitlin Zampino (7-12) was charged with the loss after allowing five earned in seven innings of work. The Mules' Kelsey Jones (15-2) received the win after allowing three earned and striking out six in a complete-game performance.
Malorie Sassaman paced the offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. DeNoville also collected a pair of hits, finishing the contest with a 2-for-4 line.
In game two, Muhlenberg took an early 3-0 lead by doubling in a runner in the first and putting together a three-hit, two-run frame in the top of the second.
The score held until the fourth, when the Mules added two more runs on three hits and an F&M error to make it a 5-0 game.
Rachel Laufer singled up the middle in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Ashley Hartshorn from second and getting the Diplomats on the board at 5-1. Liz Middleton followed with a single of her own down the leftfield line to score Whitleigh and cut into Muhlenberg's lead at 5-2.
In the top of the seventh, the Mules put the contest out of reach, sending three runners across the plate off of five hits to pull ahead by six runs.
F&M collected eight hits on the game, including two from Sassaman, Laufer and Middleton.
Justine Lohrey (9-8) was handed the loss for the Diplomats after giving up seven runs on 16 hits in seven innings of play. Angie Sisco (9-4) earned the victory, pitching two innings of shutout ball.