CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall ended its spring break trip with two more victories in Wednesday morning softball action. The Diplomats scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge Brockport St. 4-3 in thrilling fashion before downing Nichols (Mass.) 8-2 in the nightcap. F&M won seven of eight games in Florida and now sit at 7-1, while the Golden Eagles fell to 4-5 and the Bison dropped to 4-6.
Most of game one against Brockport was a pitching duel, as Isabel Schaefer and Jaime Berger held both offenses in check. In the top of the sixth, however, the Golden Eagles broke the 0-0 tie when Kelly Proper launched a two-run homerun to right field, capping Schaefer's scoreless inning streak at 18.1 and giving Brockport a 2-0 advantage.
After the Diplomats were held scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, the Golden Eagles tacked on one more run in the top of the seventh, an RBI-single by Brianna Harris, to take a 3-0 lead heading into the final inning of the game.
Erin Russell started off the bottom of the seventh by drawing a walk, and Samantha Burns followed with a single. Berger then struck out two consecutive Diplomats, but Katie Wenger came up and smacked an RBI-single to cut the deficit to two at 3-1. Crystal Good was the next batter, and the freshman came through for F&M, roping a two-RBI double to tie the contest at 3-3. Good then advanced to third on the throw home to put the winning run just 43 feet away.
With Kathleen Zogorski batting, Brockport's catcher misplayed the ball and it got behind her, allowing Good to score, giving the Diplomats the dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind victory.
Wenger finished with three hits, while Burns notched two. Russell finished with four walks, tying F&M's single-game record.
Schaefer threw 6.1 innings and gave up three earned, while Wenger (2-0) threw 0.2 innings and earned the victory.
For the Golden Eagles, Berger gave up three earned runs, but struck out 11 batters, however the Diplomats drew six walks.
The second game against Nichols was close throughout most of the game as well, as Megan Ryan doubled to left center in the top of the first to score Melissa Bollmeyer, however the Bison struck back in the bottom of the frame when Christina Drake reach on an error to score a run and tie the game at 1-1.
Both starting pitchers were solid until the fifth inning, not allowing any runs and working out of jams. In the top of the fifth, Ryan struck again when she broke the tie and singled to the shortstop, scoring Russell and making the score 2-1 Diplomats. However, Nichols came back quickly again, tying the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
F&M broke the game open in the top of the seventh, beginning with an RBI-single through the left side by Burns that plated Bollmeyer. After Russell scored on a past ball to make it 4-2, Ryan came through yet again, doubling to right field to score Burns and increase the lead to 5-2. After Good reached on a fielder's choice that scored Ryan, Kelly Van O' Linda singled to center field, scoring two more and making it 8-2 in favor of F&M.
Ryan (1-0) shut down the Bison in the bottom of the seventh from the mound , and earned the victory or the Diplomats. The sophomore also finished with three hits and three RBI at the plate, while Burns and Bollmeyer recorded two hits apiece.
F&M returns home to open up Centennial Conference (CC) action on Saturday with a doubleheader against Washington set to begin at 1:00 p.m.