BEREA, Ky. – The Franklin College softball team opened the 2018 season on Sunday (Feb. 25) afternoon, taking on Berea College.
Franklin's (2-0) bats wasted no time getting to work on Saturday, pounding out 35 hits that led to a combined 29 runs off Berea (2-6) pitching. After taking game one 15-1 in five innings, the Grizzlies finished off the sweep with a 14-4 six-inning win in game two.
Freshman Natalie Weber recorded three hits, five RBI and her first career home run in the opener. Junior Monica Collins belted her first career long ball in game two and junior Justice Carmichael had five hits and five RBI on the day.
Game One: Franklin 15 – Berea 1 (5 inn.)
After a pair of scoreless frames to open the day, the Grizzlies broke out in the top of the third inning for a pair of runs on Weber's two-run single. One inning later, the Grizzlies exploded for a 13-run inning that accounted for the rest of the team's runs.
Collins and Carmichael recorded back-to-back RBI doubles, followed by a run-scoring single from Alexis Tarver that made it 5-0. Shelby Mager followed with the Grizzlies' third RBI double of the inning and would score an inning later on Weber's three-run home run that made it a 9-0 game.
Later in the inning, Emily Thompson added to the lead with a run-scoring double and Carmichael followed with her second RBI double of the frame. Grace Paszek and Abby Hickson would add RBI singles later in the inning to cap the scoring, as Franklin racked up 12 hits in the top of the fourth alone.
Tarver and Weber would each record three hits in the opener with Grace Paszek scoring a team-high three times. Franklin ace Olivia Paszek (1-0) allowed just three hits and one run with a pair of walks and five strikeouts in a complete game effort.
Game Two: Franklin 14 – Berea 4 (5 inn.)
Franklin wasted no time putting a crooked number on the board, plating a pair of runs in the top of the first on a Tarver sacrifice fly and Carmichael scoring on an error to make it 2-0 after one-half inning of play.
Carmichael continued her tear in the top of the second, doubling the Franklin lead with a two-run double to deep center field. Mager, Danielle Wyse and Taylor Bounin added RBIs later in the inning to make it 7-0 Franklin after two.
Collins led off the top of the third with her first career long ball, and one inning later Amber Antczak and Collins would add to the lead with run-scoring singles. Tyralee Frye and Alisha Burch notched their first career RBIs with a pair of run-scoring singles in the top of the sixth to cap the scoring.
Bounin's three hits led all players in game two while Collins finished with three runs scored. It was all in support of sophomore Kayla Selzer (1-0), who worked five innings of three-run ball to pick up the win for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies will be off for a week before heading to Clermont, Fla. For their annual spring break trip for eight games over a five-day stretch. Franklin opens their trip to the Sunshine State with games against Johnson & Wales and Mitchell on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.