WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team headed north to Grand Park for their final tune-up before conference play gets started, taking on Wisconsin-Platteville on Wednesday (Mar. 28) afternoon.
The Grizzlies (13-3) and Pioneers (7-7) took part in a pair of low-scoring contests. Franklin opened the day with a 4-2 win in game one before the Pioneers returned the favor with a 4-2 win of their own to come away with a split.
Monica Collins had three hits and drove in a trio of runs in the opening contest. Grace Paszek would match her teammate with three hits on the afternoon. Natalie Weber crossed home plate twice, the only Grizzly to score more than once on the day.
Game One: Franklin 4 – Wisconsin-Platteville 2
Franklin plated the first two runs of game one thanks to a clutch piece of hitting from their leadoff hitter. With two outs and the bases full of Grizzlies, Collins ripped a single into left field, scoring Paszek and Emily Thompson.
The Pioneers cut the lead in half in the top of the third, but Franklin would get that run right back when Paszek brought home Weber with a two-out RBI single in their half of the third inning. One inning later, Collins stretched the Grizzly lead to 4-1 with a squeeze bunt single that brought the speedy Lexi Gaffney home from third.
Senior pitcher Olivia Paszek would take over from there, keeping the Pioneers silent until an unearned run with two outs in the seventh trimmed the lead to two. With the tying run at the plate, Paszek induced a game-ending pop-up, running her record to 8-0 on the year.
Game Two: Wisconsin-Platteville 4 – Franklin 2
The Pioneers would get the early jump in game two, scoring a pair of runs in the first and another in the fifth while the Grizzlies battled for base runners.
After recording just one hit over their first five trips to the plate, Franklin broke through in the sixth. Paszek singled Weber home to open the scoring and one batter later, the Grizzlies were within a run with runners in scoring position thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single from Kimmie Kuehr. But the rally would fizzle there as Franklin was unable to get the tying run home.
Wisconsin-Platteville added an insurance run in the seventh to stretch the lead to 4-2. A leadoff walk to Shelby Mager brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but Franklin couldn't mount a rally.
Danielle Wyse (0-1) allowed two earned runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings of work. Kayla Selzer and Alisha Burch would also see time in the circle in game two, combining to work the final 2 1/3 innings.
Franklin dives head-first into Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play on Saturday afternoon. First up for the Grizzlies is a pair of games against Defiance College at Behrens Field, which is set to get underway at 1:00 p.m.