Lexington, Ky. - Franklin College junior Baylea Suiters (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) hit a walk-off single to lead the softball team to the second day of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's double-elimination tournament on Friday at Transylvania University.
The Grizzlies, the tournament's No. 3 seed, earned a 9-8 victory in nine innings during an elimination game against top-seeded Transylvania. The team bounced back from a 3-2 hard-fought loss in the first round to No. 2-seed Anderson University earlier in the day.
Franklin (25-13) now advances to play the loser of Friday's winner's bracket contest between Anderson and No. 4-seed Hanover College. The game is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m.
Franklin opened the ninth inning with its first three batters reaching base safely. Following a lead-off walk, freshman Taylor Bounin (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) connected on a double to put two runners in scoring position. A walk to junior Taylor Johnson (Beech Grove, Ind./Beech Grove) loaded the bases with no outs.
After a fielder's choice produced the first out of the inning, Suiters hit a single to score Bounin for the game-winning run.
The Grizzlies scored four runs in the first inning to take early momentum in the contest. Senior Katie Struewing (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood) drove home Suiters with a run-scoring double. Sophomore Grace Paszek (Franklin, Ind./Franklin Community) hit a two-run single to increase the lead to 3-0. Junior Jasmine Hanna (Frankfort, Ind./Clinton Prairie) capped the early scoring with a double.
Transylvania scored one run each in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the deficit to two runs, 4-2. The Grizzlies quickly responded with a four-run sixth inning. Johnson connected on a solo home run for the first run of the frame. Blevins followed with a run-scoring double. Struewing gave Franklin an 8-2 lead after a two-run double.
The Pioneers rallied to tie the game by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh innings. The tournament hosts scored three runs with two outs in the frame.
Junior Bailey Lindamood (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) tossed two scoreless innings in relief during extra innings to pick up the victory. Senior Bri McClellan (Huntington, Ind./Huntington North) scattered six hits and allowed one run over five innings in a starting effort.
Bounin, Struewing, and Suiters each collected three hits to lead Franklin's 15-hit offensive attack.
In Friday's first round 3-2 loss to Anderson, the Ravens scored two runs on a double in the fifth inning to take the lead. The Grizzlies stranded the potential game-tying run on base in the seventh inning.
Franklin scored both of its runs in the fourth inning to break a scoreless game. Blevins hit a solo home run. A few batters later Hannah connected on a run-scoring double to score Struewing.
Anderson cut the deficit to 2-1 by scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth inning.