Patriot softball swept by Jaguars

Patriot softball swept by Jaguars

AUGUSTA, GA – Francis Marion University surrendered a walk-off unearned run in both games of Thursday's (April 2) Peach Belt Conference softball twinbill to GRU Augusta, as the Jaguars edged the Patriots 1-0 in game one and 2-1 in eight innings in the finale.

Francis Marion (19-17, 5-9) will visit PBC opponent UNC Pembroke for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 4 p.m.  GRU Augusta builds its record to 23-9 overall and 9-5 in the PBC.

In game one, the Patriots applied early heat to Jaguars junior right-hander Paige Deschaine, when sophomore center fielder Mikala Barnhart registered a one-out single up the middle in the top of the first.  Francis Marion's next two batters walked to load the bases, but FMU was unable to plate a run.

Neither team scored a run through six frames, as Deschaine and FMU senior starter Katie Carnes shut down the respective offenses.

In the top of the seventh, FMU junior utility player Chessie Miller worked a one-out walk, then stole second after a strike out.  On a single to right center by sophomore left fielder Briana Barzola, Miller was thrown out at the plate in her attempt to score the game's first run.

GRU Augusta senior third baseman Hannah Vaughn led off the home half of the frame with a single up the middle, then eventually scored the game-winning run on a one-out Francis Marion error to squeak by the Patriots 1-0.

Deschaine fanned 10 FMU sluggers to improve her record in the circle to 11-1, while Carnes (7-2) struck out six in a losing effort.

Barnhart paced FMU's offense with a 2-for-3 game-one output, and GRUA center fielder Molly Walton went 2-for-3.

Thursday's finale got off to an encouraging start, as freshman right fielder Tori Gaskins put the Patriots on top 1-0 with a two-out RBI double to right center in the top of the first.

Sophomore catcher Mallory Ferguson roared back for the Jaguars in the third with an RBI single to knot the game at 1-1.

FMU loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but couldn't scratch a run across against GRU Augusta game-two starter Haley Birkle (10-8).  The Patriots stranded two runners in the top of the seventh and another in the top of the extra frame.

In the bottom of the eighth, Vaughn, who scored the winning run in game one, hit a lead-off single, then later scored on a one-out throwing error to snag the victory 2-1.

Freshman lefty Kaitlin Munda (8-9) was the hard-luck loser, allowing only seven hits and fanning two.

Junior catcher Shannan Lopez was 2-for-4 for FMU, while Barnhart was 1-for-5.


GRU Augusta 1, Francis Marion 0 (Apr 02, 2015 at Augusta, Ga.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 000 000 0 -  0  4  2      (19-16, 5-8 PBC)
GRU Augusta......... 000 000 1 -  1  5  0      (22-9, 8-5 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Katie Carnes and Shannan Lopez. GRU Augusta - Paige Deschaine and
Mallory Ferguson.
Win-Paige Deschaine(11-1)  Loss-Katie Carnes(7-2)  T-2:03  A-0
Weather: Sunny, windy (60s)


GRU Augusta 2, Francis Marion 1 (Apr 02, 2015 at Augusta, Ga.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 100 000 00 -  1  7  2      (19-17, 5-9 PBC)
GRU Augusta......... 001 000 01 -  2  7  1      (23-9, 9-5 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Kaitlin Munda and Shannan Lopez. GRU Augusta - Haley Birkle and
Mallory Ferguson.
Win-Haley Birkle(10-8)  Loss-Kaitlin Munda(8-9)  T-2:00  A-44
Weather: Sunny, windy (50s)