ANDERSON, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team hit the road for a critical pair of games on Thursday (Apr. 19) afternoon, taking on the Anderson University Ravens.
The Grizzlies (20-6, 7-3 HCAC) used a late game rally to send the opener to extra innings, where a four-run ninth inning gave the guests a 10-6 win in game one. Game two saw the Grizzlies jump out to an early lead, but the Ravens (9-15, 2-4 HCAC) would score seven unanswered runs to take game two and salvage a split with a 7-2 win.
Game One: Franklin 10 – Anderson 6 (9 inn.)
The Franklin offense sputtered through the first four innings, managing just one hit off Anderson starter Hadley Decker. The Ravens would snatch an early 3-0 lead on a three-run home run by designated player Lexi Gray in the bottom of the second.
But the Grizzly bats would awake in the fifth inning, knotting things up with a three-run frame of their own. After back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, a sacrifice fly and throwing error on the same play led to two Franklin runs. Later in the inning, Alexis Tarver evened things up with the Grizzlies' second sac fly of the inning.
Anderson had a golden chance to take the lead in the sixth, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. But it resulted in nothing as Olivia Paszek induced a ground out and a strike out to end the inning and keep things tie.
Things stayed tied until the top of the eighth when Lexi Gaffney scored on a wild pitch to give the Grizzlies the lead. Just a few pitches later, Natalie Weber gave Franklin a 6-3 lead with a two-run home run.
Anderson answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth, but the Grizzlies remained undeterred. With two outs and two on in the ninth, Tarver put Franklin in front with a run-scoring single. Weber followed suit with an RBI single and Grace Paszek would tack on two more with a single later in the inning.
Olivia Paszek (12-1) battled to pick up her second straight win, striking out seven in a complete game effort. Weber led the Grizzlies with three RBI while Grace Paszek's three hits were most among all FC players.
Game Two: Anderson 7 – Franklin 2
Tarver gave the Grizzlies an early lead in game two, singling home Monica Collins in the top of the first. Two batters later, Tarver would cross the dish herself on a run-scoring single from Grace Paszek to make it a 2-0 game.
But the Grizzlies would squander quality scoring chances in the second and fourth innings, respectively, leaving multiple runners on in each frame. Anderson would plate at least one run in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to take and pad their lead.
Kayla Selzer (8-4) surrendered three earned runs, walked one a struck out two over five innings of work for Franklin.
Franklin returns to action on Saturday (Apr. 21) afternoon, taking on Mount St. Joseph at Behrens Field in Franklin. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.