CINCINNATI, Ohio – On Saturday (Apr. 6) afternoon, the Franklin College softball team faced a tough test, taking on league-leading Mount St. Joseph in a pair of games at Kinder Morgan Stadium.
The Grizzlies (8-12, 1-3 HCAC) jumped out to an early lead in the opener, but were done in by a four-run third inning by the Lions (22-5, 3-1 HCAC) in a 7-4 Mount win. Game two featured a pitcher's duel with the two teams combining for just 10 hits, but the Lions plated the game's only run in the first inning and hung on for a 1-0 victory.
Game One | Mount St. Joseph 7 – Franklin 4
Franklin pounced for a pair of runs in their first trip to the plate, jumping on starter Alaina Maddy with an RBI single from Natalie Weber and a run-scoring ground out by Danielle Wyse. The Grizzlies held the lead until the bottom of the third, when the Lions pounced for four runs on four hits, scoring on consecutive two-run hits to take a 5-2 lead.
The Grizzlies got a run back in the top of the fifth when Weber brought home Lexi Gaffney with a two-out single, her second run-scoring hit of the contest. The Lions got that run back in their half of the inning before Abby Hickson brought Franklin back within a run with another two-out RBI single in the sixth that made it a 6-4 game. But for the second straight inning, the Lions answered Franklin's run with a tally of their own and closed out the game with the tying run on deck in the seventh.
Kayla Selzer (4-7) took the ball for the opener and lasted five innings, allowing five earned runs and nine hits with one walk. Wyse entered the circle in the sixth, allowing one hit and fanning one batter. Gaffney, Weber and Sydney Logsdon all finished with a pair of hits in the opener.
Game Two | Mount St. Joseph 1 – Franklin 0
The Lions claimed the lead in game two in the bottom of the first with a one-out RBI single by Savannah Sturgill. Franklin's first opportunity to answer came in the top of the third when Gaffney and Shelby Mager reached with one out in the inning, but the rally came to an end as Weber grounded into a fielder's choice and Wyse grounded out to third to end the threat.
Only one Franklin hitter advanced past first base over the next three innings, but the Grizzlies would threaten to tie the game in their final trip to the plate. Each of the first two batters were retired to open the inning, but pinch-hitter Hickson walked to keep the inning alive. Gaffney followed with a single and Mager drew another walk to load the bags for the Grizzlies' top run producer in Weber. But the sophomore catcher was unable to find a patch of grass and tie the game, flying out to close the contest.
Alisha Burch (3-5) was brilliant in the circle for Franklin, scattering five hits, walking two and striking out one in a complete game effort. For the second straight game, both Gaffney and Logsdon collected multiple hits.
Franklin returns to action on Wednesday (Apr. 10), taking on Rose-Hulman in a twin bill at Behrens Field. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.