CLERMONT, Fla. – The Franklin College softball team opened up a four-day trip to the Sunshine State with a pair of games against Johnson & Wales University and New England College on Saturday (Mar. 3) afternoon.
The Grizzlies (4-0) stayed perfect on the year, using a big inning in game one to capture a 6-3 win over Johnson & Wales. In game two, the Grizzlies drew six walks and took advantage of four errors to earn a 10-5 win over New England College.
The star of the day for the Grizzlies was junior Shelby Mager, who drove in five runs, stole two bases and belted her first career home run in game one that put the Grizzlies in front for good.
Game One: Franklin 6 – Johnson & Wales 3
Down by a run heading into the top of the third, the Grizzlies would rally for five runs in the inning to take control of the game. Lauren Huebler opened the inning with a single and came in to score four batters later following walks to Monica Collins, Justice Carmichael and Alexis Tarver.
With two outs and the bases still loaded, Mager stepped to the plate and delivered the game's critical blow, sending a pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam and a 5-1 Franklin lead.
Taylor Bounin added to the lead in the top of the sixth with an RBI double, but the Wildcats would chop the lead in half in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run off FC starter Olivia Paszek.
The Wildcats would threaten in the bottom of the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate with one out in the inning. But the rally ended there as Paszek forced a fly out and finished off the win with a strikeout.
Paszek (2-0) allowed two earned runs on three hits, walking two while fanning 10 Wildcat batters. Bounin was the lone Grizzlies with multiple hits while six different players scored a run.
Game Two: Franklin 10 – New England College 5
Mager continued her big day with a run-scoring single to put the Grizzlies out in front in the bottom of the first inning. Natalie Weber would make it 2-0 Grizzlies in the second, coming in to score on the Pilgrims' second error of the game.
The Pilgrims would answer with three runs in the third to take their first lead of the day, but Franklin would draw even in the bottom half of the inning when Mager scored on another Pilgrim error.
NEC would re-take the lead with a run in the fourth, but Franklin would erase that deficit in their half of the inning. Collins put the Grizzlies back in front with a two-run single and would score later in the inning on a wild pitch. Later in the inning Alexis Tarver made it 7-4 Grizzlies, driving in Carmichael with an RBI double.
Weber added to the lead by scoring on a passed ball in the fifth. Franklin capped their scoring with two runs in the sixth when Tarver scored on a wild pitch and Mager came in on an RBI groundout from Grace Paszek.
That proved to be plenty of support for sophomore pitcher Kayla Selzer (2-0). Selzer allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over four innings of work before turning the ball over to Danielle Wyse, who worked the final three innings to earn her first save of the year.
The Grizzlies will have a day off before continuing their trip with two games on Monday (Mar. 5) morning. Franklin will take on Wartburg at 9:00 a.m. and Mount Union at 11:00 a.m.