Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College softball team lost two games to Bluffton University 11-8 in 10 innings and 11-5 on Saturday in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play from Behrens Field.
The Grizzlies (15-15, 3-7 HCAC) forced extra innings in the opener after trailing 4-3 entering the seventh. Freshman Jessica Thom (Mooresville, Ind./Monrovia) drove in freshman Megan Lalioff (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) on a two-out single.
Each team would plate one run in the eighth and ninth innings under international tiebreak rules. A double by junior Jessica Ayers (Frankfort, Ind./Frankfort) in the eighth inning extended the game. In the ninth inning, freshman Savannah Blevins (Wilkinson, Ind./Eastern Hancock) hit a sacrifice fly to plate junior Cherish Selburg (Martinsville, Ind./Martinsville).
However, Bluffton (18-10, 8-4 HCAC) got four hits to score five runs in the top of the 10th inning to hold an 11-6 lead. Franklin battled back and got two runs on a single by freshman Jeana Gregory (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville). The Grizzlies brought the potential game-tying run to the plate, but a fly ball that was deflected by two outfielders was eventually caught on the deflection by Bluffton's shortstop to end the contest.
In the second game, the Beavers used a six-run third inning to build a 7-0 advantage. Franklin cut into the deficit on a solo home run from Thom in the fifth inning. The hosts scored four times in the very next inning to trim the margin to 7-5. A single by Blevins plated Ayers for the first run of the frame. A three-base throwing error allowed two more runs to score. A run-scoring groundout by sophomore Anne Schwomeyer (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood) got the Grizzlies within two runs.
Bluffton quickly answered with four insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory.
Sophomore McKensie Vanosdol (North Vernon, Ind./Jennings County) recorded five hits in the two games. Gregory tallied three hits in the opener. Freshman Jasmine Hanna (Frankfort, Ind./Clinton Prairie) and Blevins also recorded multiple-hit efforts in the first contest.
Franklin returns to action on Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m. when it hosts Defiance College in HCAC play from Behrens Field. Live statistics of the doubleheader will be available here. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics).