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Softball Clinches HCAC Tournament Berth in Regular-Season Finale

Softball Clinches HCAC Tournament Berth in Regular-Season Finale

Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College softball team clinched a berth in the 2016 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) postseason tournament with a doubleheader split against Defiance College on Monday from Behrens Field. The Grizzlies closed out the regular season winning a school record 24 games.

The Grizzlies (24-12) will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament after compiling a 9-7 HCAC record. The team will open postseason play on Friday, May 6 at 10 a.m. Details about the HCAC tournament will be announced on Tuesday. The Grizzlies have advanced to postseason play for the second time in the last four seasons.

Franklin solidified its postseason bid with a 1-0 victory in the first game. Defiance won the second game by a 2-0 score.

Junior Savannah Blevins (Wilkinson, Ind./Eastern Hancock) drove home the game-winning run in the fifth inning with a single. The base hit scored freshman Shelby Mager (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville).

Defiance (18-20) loaded the bases in the seventh inning behind two singles and a walk. However, sophomore left-handed pitcher Olivia Paszek (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community) recorded a strikeout to end the game.

Paszek scattered four hits and had eight strikeouts in tossing the shutout. She improved to 15-4 in the pitching circle during the 2016 regular season.

Blevins led Franklin by going 2-for-3 and driving in the only run of the contest. Sophomores Morgan Burch (Coatesville, Ind./Cascade) and Grace Paszek (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community) joined Mager in each collecting one hit in the opener.

Defiance scored two runs in the third inning during the second game. Haley Patty hit a home run and Megan Warren followed with a run-scoring single in the frame.

Blevins tallied two of the team's seven hits in the game. Seniors Michelle Murphy (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North) and Katie Struewing (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood), junior Taylor Johnson (Beech Grove, Ind./Beech Grove), freshman Monica Collins (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) joined Burch in tallying one hit.