Carnes leads Patriot Softball to split with LRU

Carnes leads Patriot Softball to split with LRU

FLORENCE, SC – Senior right-hander Katie Carnes pitched a five-hitter, allowing only one unearned run, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to lead Francis Marion University to a 3-1 win over Lenoir-Rhyne University and a split of Sunday's (March 8) non-conference softball doubleheader.  The Bears won the opener 4-0 behind a six-hit shutout by lefty Brandi Hole.

Francis Marion's record moves to 12-8, while the Bears are now 17-4.  The Patriots will host Queens University of Charlotte for a non-conference twinbill on Thursday (March 12) beginning at 4 p.m.

Carnes, who tossed a six-inning no-hitter on Saturday, did not allow a hit on Sunday until Bears' right fielder Ashley Oliver laced a one-out double to center in the fourth inning.  Carnes (5-0) finished with seven strikeouts.

The squads were locked in a scoreless tie until FMU plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore outfielder Mikala Barnhart led off with a bunt single in front of home plate and senior second baseman T.J. Fain followed with a seeing-eye single through the right side. 

FMU junior third baseman Shannan Lopez plated Barnhart with a long RBI single to right centerfield and then freshman designated player Madison Lowe-Gardner drilled a line-drive single to center that scored Fain.  Both Lopez and Lowe-Gardner moved up one base on a wild pitch by Lenoir-Rhyne right-hander Maryann Hoskins (8-2) and Carnes drove home Lopez with a sacrifice fly to left field.

The Bears threatened in the seventh frame with two on and two outs.  Clean-up batter Sarah Kenley singled to right field and speedy designated player Christina Walker scored from third when the throw from the outfield was wild.  However, Carnes recovered to fan Jordin Phillips for the final out with the tying runners on base.

Barnhart collected a pair of hits in game two, after going 3-for-4 in the first contest. She has now reached base safely in each of the past 17 games, and improved her team-best average to .417.

In the opener, Hole (9-2) struck out three and issued only one walk.  FMU freshman southpaw Kaitlin Munda (4-5) took the loss as she allowed the four runs (three earned) on seven hits.  She fanned five Bears and walked two.

Lenoir-Rhyne plated two runs in the top of the second on a pair of two-out RBI hits by Walker and Sydney Landreth.  In the third frame, the Bears added a single tally when Averi Miller scored from second base on a passed ball when no Patriot covered home plate.  LRU scored its final run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Brittany Coursen.

Francis Marion's best scoring opportunity came in the fifth when Lopez doubled down the left field line with two outs.  Lowe-Gardner followed with a bloop single into shallow left, but Bears' left fielder Samantha Droese threw Lopez out at home plate trying to score.

Lenoir-Rhyne Univ. 4, Francis Marion Univ. 0 (Mar 08, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Lenoir-Rhyne Univ... 021 001 0 -  4  7  1      (17-3)
Francis Marion Univ. 000 000 0 -  0  6  0      (11-8)
Pitchers: Lenoir-Rhyne Univ. - Brandi Hole and Sarah Kenley. Francis Marion Univ. -
Kaitlin Munda and Taylor Barrineau; Mykah Nevin.
Win-Brandi Hole(9-2)  Loss-Kaitlin Munda(4-5)  T-1:57  A-0
Weather: Sunny, 60, Winds WSW @ 6 mph


Francis Marion Univ. 3, Lenoir-Rhyne Univ. 1 (Mar 08, 2015 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Lenoir-Rhyne Univ... 000 000 1 -  1  5  2      (17-4)
Francis Marion Univ. 000 030 X -  3  9  1      (12-8)
Pitchers: Lenoir-Rhyne Univ. - Maryann Hoskins and Sarah Kenley. Francis Marion Univ. -
Katie Carnes and Mykah Nevin.
Win-Katie Carnes(5-0)  Loss-Maryann Hoskins(8-2)  T-1:54  A-163
Weather: Sunny, 70, Winds W @ 8 mph