LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team dropped two non-Centennial Conference (CC) matchups to Eastern on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles downed the Diplomats 2-1 in game one before Eastern held off F&M 6-3 in the nightcap. The Diplomats' record now sits at 23-14, while Eastern improved to 15-16.
In game one, the Eagles scored the first run of the game when Haleigh Williams reached on a fielder's choicein the top of the third inning to score Michelle Stehman and make it a 1-0 game. Eastern struck again in the top of the fifth when Kasey Williams singled up the middle to plate Kelsey Clever and increase the lead to 2-0.
F&M got its lone run of the ballgame in the bottom of the fifth when Patricia Crigler led off the inning with a solo homerun to left field to cut the deficit in half at 2-1. The Diplomats threatened in the bottom of the sixth when Malorie Sassaman knocked a one-out single through the right side and after the second out was recorded, Caroline Abin singled up the middle. Next up was Megan Ryan who reached on an error, but Eastern's starting pitcher Alyssa Welsh got out of the jam as the Eagles went on to edge the Diplomats 2-1.
Justine Lohrey (11-5) was great from inside the circle, giving up one earned run in a complete game, but was charged with the loss. Abin led F&M with two hits with Crigler and Sassaman each adding one.
Eastern's Welsh (6-12) also threw seven innings and gave up one earned run while striking out two batters to earn the victory for the Eagles.
In game two, Eastern wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as K. Williams reached on an error in the first to score Stehman and give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage. Emily Houck followed with a single up the middle to plate K. Williams and increase the lead to 2-0. In the bottom of the first, the Diplomats got a run back when leadoff batter Ashley Hartshorn drilled a homerun to left field to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Later in the game, in the bottom of the fourth, Eastern's Ashton Tomlison doubled to left field to score Clever and put the Eagles back up by two at 3-1. Eastern's offense added to the lead in the top of the fifth when Clever singled up the middle to score Welsh and Houck and make it a 5-1 contest. K. Williams then added an RBI-single to give the Eagles a 6-1 lead.
F&M never quit,however, as Sassaman led off the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle before Sam DeNoville ripped a triple to right center, scoring Sassaman and bringing the Diplomats within four runs at 6-2. Abin then hit a RBI-groundout to first base to score DeNoville and make it a 6-3 ballgame. F&M continued to threaten in the inning, but was unable to put any more runs across the board and Eastern went on to win 6-3.
Kaitlin Zampino (6-7) threw four innings and gave up one earned run as she took the loss, while Ryan threw three innings in relief with four strikeouts. DeNoville and Caitlin Brust each recorded two hits for the Diplomats.
The Eagles racked up 15 hits in game two, with Tomlinson tallying four and K. Williams notching three. H. Williams (3-3) threw a complete game and gave up three runs while striking out three batters to earn the victory.
F&M is back in CC action on Saturday when the Diplomats travel to Muhlenberg for the regular season finale. Game one is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.