ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall picked up a sweep over non-conference opponent Elizabethtown in softball action on Tuesday afternoon. Megan Ryan broke a 0-0 tie in game one with an RBI-double as the Diplomats won 3-0, while F&M downed the Blue Jays 8-6 in a thrilling extra inning game, as the Diplomats turned a triple play in the eighth to seal the victory.
With the two wins, F&M improved to 22-10, while Elizabethtown fell to 13-17.
In the opening game, both pitchers were dueling until Samantha Burns began the top of the sixth with a double to left center. Ryan came up next and smacked a double to left to score Burns, putting the Diplomats on top at 1-0. After Kathleen Zogorski singled through the left side to put runners on the corners, Crystal Good reached on a throwing error to score Ryan and make it 2-0.
The Blue Jays threatened in the bottom of the sixth when Kaylee Werner doubled and Jordan Nowacki singled through the left side to advance Werner to third, however Schaefer induced a pop up and groundout to get out of the inning without allowing any runs. Ryan added an RBI-double in the top of the seventh for a 3-0 lead, and Schaefer got Kirstin Blass to ground out to a game-ending 6-3-double-play in the bottom of the inning as F&M came away with the 3-0 victory.
The Diplomats had 10 hits in the game, as Ryan was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Melissa Bollmeyer, Erin Russell, and Burns had two hits apiece. Schaefer (11-7) recorded her sixth shutout of the season, increasing her record for the most shutouts in a season in F&M history. The freshman scattered eight hits while striking out six.
In the nightcap, with the contest tied at 5-5 heading into extra innings, Bollmeyer was placed on second base and Burns singled threw the right side to advance Bollmeyer to third. With two outs and a full count, Patricia Crigler put the Diplomats on top, as the junior singled up the middle to make the score 6-5. After Enrica Fabricant reached on a throwing error to score Ryan for a 7-5 lead, Karly Newcomb singled up the middle to increase the lead to 8-5.
In the bottom of the eighth, Becher was placed on second and Kirstin Blass reached on catcher's interference. Payton Marunich then singled and Becher scored on an error, cutting the lead to 8-6. The next batter, Jess White, lined a ball to Erin Russell for one out, she threw to Newcomb at first base for the second out, and Newcomb tossed the ball over to Burns at second base to complete F&M's second triple play in its history, with the other coming in 2012, for the wild extra-inning victory.
Burns had three more hits in game two and had five on the day, while Crigler had two hits and two RBIs and Bollmeyer added two hits and two runs, while Newcomb recorded two hits. Justine Lohrey (6-2) earned the win for the Diplomats, throwing eight innings and giving up 16 hits but only allowed four earned runs, as F&M was able to get out of several jams.
The Diplomats return to the diamond on Thursday when F&M travels to Eastern for a double header beginning at 3:00 p.m.