Diplomats Break out Brooms Against Ursinus

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team swept Ursinus on Thursday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) action. The Diplomats won the first game 5-4 before holding off the Bears in game two and winning 7-6. F&M improved to 12-6, 3-1 CC, while Ursinus fell to 5-9, 1-3 CC.

In game one, F&M continued to score early in games as Rachel Laufer roped a double to center field in the top of the first inning that scored Malorie Sassaman to give the Diplomats a 1-0 lead. F&M struck again in the top of the second when Alicia Kukoda doubled to center field to score Megan Ryan and give the Diplomats a 2-0 advantage. Sam DeNoville followed with an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Bears answered in the bottom of the second when Shelby Edelson singled to right field to score Nikki Djambinov and cut the lead to 3-1. In the top of the fifth inning, Kaitlin Zampino made it a 4-1 contest when she doubled to center field to score Laufer. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Ursinus' Ellen Goldstein singled up the middle to plate Carly Gartenberg and cut the lead to 4-2. Later in the frame, Djambinov singled to right field to score Zoe Heinke and make it a 4-3 contest heading into the last two innings. 

Kukoda singled to score Ryan in the top of the seventh to add a vital insurance run and increase the Diplomats' lead to 5-3. In the bottom of the inning, Morgan Worthington singled to score Sandra Ricardi and make the score 5-4, however Sassaman threw out Caitlin Whelan at home for the final out to preserve the 5-4 victory.

Sassaman led the Diplomats by going 3-for-4 in game one, while Ryan, Kukoda, and DeNoville had two hits apiece. Zampino (2-4) threw four innings and gave up two runs to earn her second victory of the season, while Ryan notched her first save of the season.

In the nightcap, F&M's Sassaman started things off by doubling to center field in the top of the first inning to give the Diplomats a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Zampino ripped a double to center to score Caitlin Brust and Laufer to extend the lead to 3-0.

In the top of the fourth, F&M got on the board again when Caroline Abin smacked a single to center field to score Kelly Van O'Linda and give the Diplomats a 4-0 advantage. 

F&M extended the lead in the following frame as Sassaman hit another double, this time to left field, to score Kukoda and make it a 5-0 contest. Zampino then singled to left field to score Sassaman and put the Diplomats ahead 6-0. 

After F&M added another run in the top of the sixth to make it 7-0, Ursinus got on the board in the bottom of the frame when Heinke singled through the right side to score Delia Mercurio and cut the lead to 7-1. Djambinov then reached on a fielder's choice that scored Heinke to make it a 7-2 game. Shelby Edelson then singled to right field to score Djambinov and cut the deficit to 7-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bears would not go quietly as Heinke hit an RBI-single to center field to make it a 7-4 game. Djambinov followed with her own RBI-single to bring Ursinus within two runs at 7-5 before Worthington hit a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 7-6 contest. However, Justine Lohrey was able to get Edelson to ground out to third base to end the game and give F&M a 7-6 victory.

Zampino finished game two with a 3-for-4 mark for the Diplomats, while Sassaman and Abin each recorded two hits. Ryan threw 5.2 innings, giving up three runs and striking out two to improve to 4-1, while Lohrey earned her first save of the season. 

F&M returns to the field Saturday when the Diplomats host McDaniel. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.