Patriots and Flying Fleet divide softball doubleheader

Patriots and Flying Fleet divide softball doubleheader

FLORENCE, SC – A pair of hits and two runs batted in by senior Katie Carnes sparked Francis Marion University to an 11-0 game-one win over Erskine College on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 11), but the Patriot bats were held to only four hits in the second game, a 2-1 loss, as the squads split a their non-conference softball doubleheader.

FMU (5-3) will return to the field on Thursday afternoon as the Patriots play host to St. Andrews University for a 3 p.m. twinbill.  The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Sunday, but moved up when harshly cold temperatures were forecast.

In Wednesday's opener, FMU scored five runs in the bottom of the first on four hits, four walks, and one hit batter.  The Patriots added two runs in each of the next three frames to produce the 11-0 blanking.  Junior right-hander Shelby Kelley (3-1) earned the victory as she pitched the final three innings.  Freshman lefty Kaitlin Munda pitched two scoreless innings to start the game.  The pair combined on a three-hitter with six strikeouts and only one walk.

In addition to Carnes' 2-for-3 performance, senior first baseman Shelby Mathews was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one driven in, while freshman outfielder Tori Gaskins and senior second baseman TJ Fain each registered two RBIs without the benefit of collecting a base hit.

FMU was the beneficiary of 11 walks by three Erskine hurlers.  Flying Fleet starter Danica Newton (0-2) was tagged with the loss.

Erskine (2-4) jumped out on top in game two, thanks to an RBI single by Lydia Texler in the first.  That margin doubled to 2-0 in third on a run-scoring hit by Brittany Rhinehardt.

FMU scratched out its lone run in the bottom of the seventh.  Sophomore outfielder Mikala Barnhart led off with an infield single, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout, and came home on an Erskine error that gave Carnes her third RBI of the day.  However, Carnes was stranded at first when Jacquie Hill retired the next two Patriot batters to earn her first save of 2015.

Erskine starter Candace Fitch (1-1) was credited with the win.

Kelly took the loss as she allowed the two runs on eight hits in three innings of work.  Carnes crafted four scoreless innings in relief, allowing only one hit and fanning four.

The four Patriot hits came off the bats of catcher junior Taylor Barrineau, junior infielder Sharee Blomquist, Barnhart, and Fain.


Francis Marion Univ. 11, Erskine College 0 (Feb 11, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Erskine College.....     000 00 -  0  3  2      (1-4)
Francis Marion Univ. 522 2X - 11  7  0      (5-2)
Pitchers: Erskine College - Danica Newton; Kaylin White(2); Candace Fitch(4) and Christine Long
; Kathryn Windham. Francis Marion Univ. - Kaitlin Munda; Shelby Kelley(3) and Taylor Barrineau.
Win-Shelby Kelley(3-0)  Loss-Danica Newton(0-2)  T-1:43  A-0
Weather: Clear,Sunny,52,Winds N @ 4 mph
D. Newton faced 4 batters in the 2nd.

Erskine 2, Francis Marion Univ. 1 (Feb 11, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Erskine.............      101 000 0 -  2  9  3      (2-4)
Francis Marion Univ. 000 000 1 -  1  4  0      (5-3)
Pitchers: Erskine - Candace Fitch; Karen Hawkins(5); Jacquie Hill(8) and Kathryn Windham;
Christine Long. Francis Marion Univ. - Shelby Kelley; Katie Carnes(4) and Taylor Barrineau.
Win-Candace Fitch(1-1)  Save-Karen Hawkins(1)  Loss-Shelby Kelley(3-1)  T-2:00  A-55
Weather: Clear, 55, Winds WNW @ 6 mph