Armed Patriots sweep Flying Fleet

Armed Patriots sweep Flying Fleet

DUE WEST, SC – Francis Marion University senior right-hander Taylor Luff and junior righty Katie Carnes combined to limit Erskine College to 11 hits and one run as Francis Marion University swept a non-conference doubleheader from the Flying Fleet on Tuesday afternoon (March 25).

FMU senior outfielder Megan Smith hit a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning to highlight an 11-1 game-one victory, while Carnes tossed a six-hit shutout in the second contest for a 5-0 Patriot win.

Francis Marion improves to 18-16 with its seventh win in the last eight outings.  The Patriots will return to Peach Belt Conference play this weekend with contests at the University of North Georgia and Young Harris College on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Erskine drops to 9-15.

Luff (9-9) earned the game-one victory with seven strikeouts and only one earned run allowed. Erskine starter Danica Newton (4-8) took the loss after giving up seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks.

Smith finished the contest 1-for-2 at the plate with four runs batted in. Junior first baseman Ashley Burney was 1-for-3 in the game with two RBIs, while sophomore outfielder Jessie Sims had two base knocks. Senior Olivia Zielinski was 1-for-1 with a double and three RBIs.

After freshman outfielder Briana Barzola led off the game with a single, Burney quickly put FMU up 2-0 with her ninth home run of the season. Erskine's Whiten Brown cut the Patriot lead to 2-1 with a RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.

The Patriots broke the game open with a nine-run fifth inning. FMU hit three straight singles before freshman outfielder Mikala Barnhart scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 3-1. After pinch hitter TJ Fain re-loaded the bases with a walk, Smith stepped up to the plate and crushed her first homer of the season to unload the bases and make the score 7-1.

Francis Marion kept up the offensive pressure in the inning, and freshman catcher Danielle Myers hit a RBI single that scored senior designated player Lindsey Brown. Sims then singled, and Barnhart drew a walk to re-load the bases. Zielinski pinch hit for Luff and cleared the bases with an RBI-double to make the final tally 11-1.

Erskine's Christine Long was 2-for-2 at the plate, while Brown finished 1-for-3 with a RBI. 

FMU quickly jumped out front in game two as well.  Zielinski drilled a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first inning.  One batter later, Zielinski and Myers both scored on an infield error to give the Patriots a 4-0 advantage.

Pinch hitter Chessie Miller walked with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth to force in the Patriots' fifth and final run.

Carnes (9-7) allowed only the six hits, while fanning five and issuing no walks for her third shutout of 2014.

Myers and Burney both collected two hits in the second game.

Candace Fitch (2-4) started for Erskine and was tagged with the loss.

Francis Marion 11, Erskine College 1 (Mar 25, 2014 at Due West, SC) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 200 09 - 11 10  0      (17-16)
Erskine College..... 100 00 -  1  5  0      (9-14)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Taylor Luff and Danielle Myers. Erskine College - Danica Newton;
Katherine Mulzer(5) and Kathryn Windham; Ashyln Hicks.
Win-Taylor Luff(9-9)  Loss-Danica Newton(4-8)  T-1:46  A-23
HR FMU - Megan Smith (1); Ashley Burney (9).
Newton, Dani faced 5 batters in the 5th.


Francis Marion 5, Erskine 0 (Mar 25, 2014 at Due West, SC) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 400 001 0 -  5  8  2      (18-16)
Erskine............. 000 000 0 -  0  6  2      (9-15)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Katie Carnes and Danielle Myers. Erskine - Candace Fitch;
Kaylin White(3); Danica Newton(6); Katherine Mulzer(7) and Ashyln Hicks; Kathryn Windham.
Win-Katie Carnes(9-7)  Loss-Candace Fitch(2-4)  T-1:58