LEXINGTON, Ky. – Post-season play opened for the Franklin College softball team on Friday (May 4) afternoon at Hall Field for day one of the 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament.
The second-seeded Grizzlies (27-10) dropped the opener to third-seeded Mount St. Joseph (23-12), 6-0, falling into the elimination bracket later in the day. In the final game of the day, the Grizzlies kept their season alive and set a new program record for wins in a season with a 10-5 victory over fifth-seeded Manchester (17-21).
Game One: Mount St. Joseph 6 - Franklin 0
The Grizzlies had the first quality scoring chance of the day when Monica Collins led off the first with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a sac bunt. But third base is where she would stay as the Grizzlies couldn't get their lead-off hitter home.
Mount would plate a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings before the next Grizzly threat. Franklin put runners on to lead off the fourth inning, but couldn't get the hit they were in search of before the inning came to an end.
Franklin would manage just one hit over the final three innings as Mount's Sarah Miller completed the shutout. Olivia Paszek (16-3) took the loss for Franklin, striking out five over 5 1/3 innings. Alisha Burch took over in the sixth and struck out three over the final 1 2/3 innings.
Game Two: Franklin 5 – Manchester 2
After a scoreless trip for both teams in their first trips to the plate, Franklin took advantage of three Manchester miscues to open the scoring. Justice Carmichael led off the inning with a double, scoring one batter later on an infield single by Grace Paszek. Paszek would come in to score later in the inning on a throwing error and Monica Collins would stake the Grizzlies to a 3-0 lead with an RBI single later in the frame.
The opportunistic Grizzlies continued to pile on the runs in the third, scoring four times with two outs in the inning. Wyse stretched the lead to four with an RBI single, followed by a bases loaded walk drawn by Emily Thompson. One batter later, Collins brought home two with a single, stretching the lead to 7-0.
Manchester added runs in the third and fourth innings to cut the lead to five. Franklin would get those runs right back in the fifth with a Collins sac fly and Wyse scoring on an error to make it a 9-2 game.
The Spartans refused to go away, plating a pair of runs in the fifth to get back within five. Franklin would add and insurance run in the seventh on another RBI single from Collins.
Kayla Selzer (10-6) notched the win for Franklin, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout over four innings. Alisha Burch entered in the fifth and scattered four hits over the final three innings to notch her second save of the year.
The Grizzlies will be back in action on Saturday (May 5) afternoon, taking on Defiance College at 1:00 p.m. in another elimination contest. For a full update on the tournament, visit the official tournament page by clicking here.