FORT MYERS, Fla. – Two strong pitching performances led the Franklin & Marshall softball team to a sweep on Monday afternoon at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Florida. The Diplomats blanked Salem St. 9-0 in five innings before crushing St. Joseph (Conn.) 11-0 in five innings. F&M improved to 3-1 on the season, while the Vikings dropped to 6-1 and the Blue Jays fell to 1-5.
In the first game against Salem St., the Diplomats got on the board in the top of the first when Erin Russell scored on a wild pitch and in the top of the third, F&M increased the led beginning with a double by Patricia Crigler that scored Samantha Burns to make it 3-0. Later in the inning, Kathleen Zogoriski came up to the plate with the bases juiced and cleared the bases with a triple to give the Diplomats a 6-0 advantage.
Kelly Van O'Linda hit an RBI-single in the top of the fifth for a 7-0 lead and some insurance, and later Russell and Burns each recorded an RBI-single as F&M went on to win 9-0.
Isabel Schaefer (2-0) was dominant for the second day inside the circle, throwing a complete-game three-hitter to go along with five strikeouts.
Burns, Crigler, and Crystal Good each finished with two hits, while Good scored two runs.
In game two of the doubleheader against St. Joseph, solid pitching/defense and an explosive offense was the story again. The Diplomats began the scoring early, as Crigler ripped a single to center to score Burns and give F&M a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The third inning was big for the Diplomats, which began when Crigler singled through the right side, plating Burns for a 2-0 advantage. Katie Wenger then singled down the left field line to score Megan Ryan and make it 3-0. After Good singled to right field to score Crigler and make the score 4-0 F&M, Van O' Linda reached on an error to increase the lead to 5-0.
Melissa Bollmeyer finished off the third with a base hit that plated two Diplomats, as F&M was ahead comfortably at 7-0 after three innings of action.
The Diplomats added four more runs in the fourth for an 11-0 advantage and Wenger held the Blue Jays scoreless in the fifth to enforce the mercy rule, which gave F&M the victory.
Crigler finished the game with three hits and three RBI's, while Good registered two hits and three RBI's.
Wenger (1-0) threw five innings and only gave up two hits while striking out three to record the first victory of her collegiate career.
The spring break trip continues tomorrow when the Diplomats take on Lasell at 9:00 a.m. before battling Knox at 11:00 a.m. in Fort Myers, Fla.