Clermont, Fla. - The Franklin College softball used two big offensive innings to earn an 11-4 victory over the University of Mount Union 11-4 on Sunday during the program's Florida trip.
The Grizzlies (2-2) broke a scoreless contest with a five-run fourth inning. Sophomore Grace Paszek (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community) started the scoring with a two-run single to plate junior Baylea Suiters (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) and senior Katie Struewing (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood). Junior Taylor Johnson (Beech Grove, Ind./Beech Grove) gave Franklin a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning with a single to score Paszek. Junior Megan Lalioff (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) followed with a run-scoring single to plate freshman Shelby Mager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern). A fielding error capped the five-run frame.
Mount Union got within 5-3 after scoring one run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. However, the Grizzlies' offense erupted for six run on eight hits to break the game open in the seventh inning. Franklin began the frame with four consecutive hits.
Franklin tallied 16 hits and had five players record two or more hits in the victory. Lalioff led the offensive attack with four hits and two runs batted in. Struewing added two hits and two runs scored. Freshman Lauren Huebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli), Paszek, and Johnson also recorded two hits.
Left-handed starting pitcher Olivia Paszek (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community) tallied eight strikeouts in the complete game effort. The 2015 All-Central Region pitcher has won her first two starts of the season.
In the nightcap, Franklin lost a 9-6 decision in eight innings to Elizabethtown. The Grizzlies scored three runs in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead. Elizabethtown later squared the contest with two runs in the second inning. It took a 4-3 advantage with a run scored in the fourth inning.
Franklin rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning by scoring three unearned runs to take a 6-4 lead. A double from Struewing scored Huebler for the game-tying run. Sophomore Morgan Burch (Clayton, Ind./Cascade) gave the Grizzlies a 5-4 lead with a groundout that scored freshman Monica Collins (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community). Junior Jasmine Hanna (Frankfort, Ind./Clinton Prairie) slapped a run-scoring single to plate Struewing to cap the team's big sixth inning.
However, Elizabethtown answered with a two-out two-run double in the seventh inning to force extra innings. The team scored three runs in the eighth inning to pick up the victory.
Franklin returns to action for a pair of games in Clermont, Florida on Monday, February 28. The Grizzlies battle Capital University at 9 a.m. before facing Alma College at 1 p.m.