Patriots softball splits first day of UNCP Tourney

Patriots softball splits first day of UNCP Tourney

Pembroke, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2013) – The Francis Marion University softball team went 1-1 at the first day of the UNC Pembroke Spring Tournament highlighted by a 6-0 upset victory over No. 2 Kutztown University.  Pitchers Katie Carnes and Taylor Luff both recorded double-digit strikeouts in each contest.  

The Patriots (3-1) will wrap-up the tournament on Friday with a pair of games against Concord College at 4 p.m., and Barton College at 6 p.m.

Patriots blank second-ranked Kutztown

Luff threw 14 strikeouts to lead the Patriots to a 6-0 upset victory over No. 2 Kutztown University in the second game of the UNCP Tournament. The 14 strikeouts were just one shy of a Luff's career total.

At the Plate, FMU was led by sophomore outfielder Jessie Sims who tallied two hits and a run batted in. Luff was also 2-for-4 at the plate, while senior outfielder Megan Smith was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Luff (2-0) limited Kutztown to just three hits, but did put four batters on via base on balls. Rachel Lawes recorded two of those hits, while Marka Ballard had the other.

The Patriots first entered the scoring column in the fourth inning. Freshman Danielle Myers kicked things off with an RBI triple to center field that scored Shelby Mathews, who reached base via an error earlier in the inning.  Myers scored two batters later off an RBI single by Smith.

FMU struck for two more runs in the sixth inning, the second run on an RBI single by Sims. The Patriots would also add a pair of insurance run in the top of the seventh on a passed that scored Olivia Zielinski and another RBI single from Smith.

Kutztown threatened in the bottom of the seventh after Luff walked two batters. However, after another strikeout and inducing a popup to second base, she struck out the final batter to seal the upset victory.

FMU edged by Concord 2-1 in extra innings

Despite 11 strikeouts from junior pitcher Katie Carnes, Francis Marion was defeated 2-1 in eight innings by Concord College in the first game of the UNCP Spring Tournament.

McDougall (2-0) took the win in the circle for Concord with seven strikeouts and only one walk. Carnes (1-1) was credited with her first loss of the season despite both runs being unearned. However, her strikeout total was just one shy of her career-high.

After the Mountain Lions were first on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the second, the Patriots quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Zielinski, who reached base on a fielder's choice earlier in the frame, scored off a throwing error after Sims put the ball in play with a single.

The Patriots were plagued by nine runners left on base, and were not able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the seventh that would have won the game. FMU loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but couldn't bring the winning run across after Mathews grounded out to the third baseman to send the game to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth inning Concord's Kristen Rose hit the game-winning RBI double that scored Kristi Benvenuto, who was placed at second base to begin the inning due to in-season tournament rules. FMU wasn't able to push its runner across the plate in the bottom of the eight, and suffered its first loss of the 2014 season.

The Patriots out-hit the Mountain Lions 7-3. Shelby Mathews finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate, while five other Patriots recorded a hit.