Florence, S.C. (March 23, 2014) – Junior first baseman Ashley Burney hit a pair of three-run home runs and the Francis Marion University softball team fought back for a doubleheader split with Georgia College on Sunday afternoon at the FMU Softball Stadium. The Patriots won the second game 8-4 after Georgia College took the first contest 8-5.
Sunday's victory was career win No. 300 for Patriots' head coach Stacey Vallee. Her career record is 300-178-1 over 10 seasons, and she is the winningest coach in FMU history.
Francis Marion (16-16, 4-4 Peach Belt Conference) returns to action on Tuesday, March 25, in a doubleheader at Erskine College. First pitch of the twinbill is set for 2 p.m.
Junior right-hander Katie Carnes (8-7) earned the victory in the second contest after striking out five batters and limiting the Bobcats to six hits. Georgia College (24-8, 3-3) pitcher Marisa Boyette (8-3) took the loss after giving up three earned runs on four hits.
With FMU trailing 2-0 through three and a half innings, freshman outfielder Briana Barzola led off the bottom of the fourth with a single up the middle. After senior shortstop Kristie Hanewinckel drew a walk, Burney stepped up to the plate and crushed the ball over the left field wall to give the Patriots a 3-2 lead. Junior third baseman Shelby Mathews tacked on FMU's fourth run with a single that scored freshman catcher Danielle Myers, who reached base earlier in the inning via an error.
Hanewinckel broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning with a bases-clearing double that scored Barzola, Mathews, and freshman outfielder Mikala Barnhart. Pinch-hitter Taylor Barrineau also drew a bases-loaded RBI walk in the frame.
The Bobcats added two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but Carnes induced a fly-out to centerfield to seal the four-run victory.
Hanewinckel was 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and a walk. Burney was 1-for-3 with three RBIs, while senior designated player Lindsey Brown was 2-for-3 with a triple.
Senior righty Taylor Luff (8-9) took the loss in the circle in the first game despite four strikeouts. GC's Carly Lewis (10-5) earned the victory after striking out three batters in a complete-game effort.
After the Bobcats struck for a run in the top of the first inning, Mathews tied the game at 1-1 on an RBI single that scored Myers, who had a base knock to start the inning. The tie was quickly broken when GC scored two runs in the top of the third inning. However, Hanewinckel hit a solo home run off the left field scoreboard to make the score 3-2 after three innings.
The Bobcats' Kristen Brooks hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, and Taylor Campbell had a solo shot in the top of the seventh to help give GC an 8-2 lead heading to the final half-inning. Burney hit her first three-run homer of the day in the bottom of the seventh to make the final tally 8-5.
Mathews was 1-for-3 in the first contest with an RBI, while Hanewinckel was 1-for-1 with a RBI and three walks. Burney was 1-for-4 with three RBIs.
Campbell was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of homers in the opener. She was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in the second contest.