CLERMONT, Fla. – After a day off to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, the Franklin College softball team was back on the diamond for two more games on Monday (Mar. 5) morning, taking on Wartburg College and Mount Union University.
The Grizzlies (6-0) remained perfect on the year, sweeping past both the Knights and Raiders in completely different fashions. In game one, the Grizzlies jumped all over Wartburg pitching early on their way to a 10-2 five-inning win. Game two saw Franklin use some late-game heroics to pull away from Mount Union, 5-3.
Game One: Franklin 10 – Wartburg 2 (5 inn.)
Franklin wasted no time getting the jump on the Knights, plating three runs in the first trip to the plate. Back-to-back doubles from Justice Carmichael and Alexis Tarver opened the scoring and later in the inning, Natalie Weber drove in two with a single to left field to make it 3-0.
Not satisfied there, the Grizzlies tacked on six runs in the second inning to blow the game wide open. Lexi Gaffney reached on a dropped third strike, stole two bags and came in to score on a throwing error to make it 4-0. The next two batters reached, setting the table for Tarver, who blasted a pitch over the center field wall for a three-run shot and a 7-0 Franklin lead.
Wartburg got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth, but Franklin would get one back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Morgan Burch. That proved to be all the Grizzlies would need as Olivia Paszek set the down in order in the fifth to close out the win.
Olivia Paszek (3-0) allowed three hits and two earned runs with two walks and seven strikeouts in her third complete game victory in as many starts. Tarver, Carmichael, Weber and Grace Paszek all went 2-for-3 at the dish.
Game Two: Franklin 5 – Mount Union 3
For the second straight game, the Franklin offense got right to work, plating three runs in the top of the second inning. Starting pitcher Danielle Wyse helped her own cause with an RBI ground out to open the scoring. With two outs and the threat still going, Franklin added to the lead with an RBI single from Emily Thompson and a run-scoring double from Shelby Mager to make it a 3-0 game.
Wyse rolled through the Raider lineup, allowing just three hits while keeping Mount Union scoreless through the first five innings. But her shutout bid was ended in the bottom of the sixth when Mount Union's Allie Goldy launched a two-out, three-run home run that tied the game with an inning to play.
But the Franklin offense would pick their pitcher up in the top of the seventh. Thompson started the rally with a lead-off single and stolen base. Later in the inning, Carmichael was hit by a pitch and Tarver was intentionally walked to load the bases for Weber. The freshman catcher showed remarkable plate discipline to draw a walk and force home the go-ahead run. One batter later, Grace Paszek added to the lead with an RBI ground out.
Kayla Selzer (3-0) slammed the door shut with a perfect ninth inning, picking up the win for 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work. Wyse allowed three unearned runs on four hits with four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Franklin closes out their Florida trip on Tuesday (Mar. 6) morning with games against Finlandia and Wheaton. The action gets underway at 9:00 a.m.