CLERMONT, Fla. – The Franklin softball team continued their spring break trip on Sunday (Mar. 24) afternoon, taking on St. Thomas (Minn.) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire as part of The Spring Games.
Franklin (4-8) jumped out to an early lead in game one but were unable to plate another runner over the final six innings in a 6-1 loss to St. Thomas. In the nightcap against UW-Eau Claire, the two teams combined for just six hits in the game but the Blugolds were able to hold off a late Franklin charge and earn a 3-2 win.
Game One: St. Thomas 6 – Franklin 1
Four batters into the game, the Grizzlies jumped out in front when Danielle Wyse roped a double to center, scoring Monica Collins from third. But the Grizzlies let a golden opportunity get away, as the next two batters were retired, leaving two runners in scoring position. Another opportunity arose in the top of the third, but Shelby Mager was gunned down at home trying to score from second on a Natalie Weber RBI single.
St. Thomas would take advantage in the bottom of the third with a pair of run-scoring hits and added four more runs in the fourth to cap the scoring. Weber and Taylor Bounin would record two hits each for Franklin in the game, but the Grizzlies were unable to end the Tommies' unbeaten streak in the opener.
Game Two: UW-Eau Claire 3 – Franklin 2
Down by a run when they came to the plate for the second time, the Grizzlies put together a threat after the first two batters reached base and moved to third on a Makiah Thomas sac bunt. Samantha Cain would lace a ground ball to short, and the Blugolds were able gun down Weber at the plate as she tried to score from third. One batter later, the threat ended when Bounin popped out to third.
The Blugolds would add another run in the second and set down the next nine Grizzly batters. But Franklin was able to break through in the top of the sixth inning when Mager brought home Lexi Gaffney from third with a one-out single. Later in the inning, Collins would cross the plate on a defensive miscue from the Blugolds, evening things up at two.
UW-Eau Claire re-took the lead in the their half of the sixth, getting a sac fly with one out in the inning that ended up being the game-winning run.
Burch started the game and tossed five brilliant innings of one-hit ball with three walks and three strikeouts. Selzer (2-5) would take over for the sixth, striking out a pair of batters in the inning.
Franklin is back at it for two more games on Monday (Mar. 25), taking on Wisconsin-River Falls and Luther College. First pitch of game one is set for 11:45 a.m.