9-run inning gives Patriots a split at Flagler

9-run inning gives Patriots a split at Flagler

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – Francis Marion University scored nine runs on eight hits, including five doubles, in the top of the seventh inning to rally for a 13-11 win over Flagler College and earn a split of Saturday's (April 11) Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader.  FMU had a potential game-tying home run wiped off the board due to a base-running miscue and Flagler won the opener 5-4.

FMU sees its record move to 21-19 overall and 7-11 in the PBC – currently good for eighth place in the conference standings and the resulting final berth in the PBC Tournament. The Patriots will conclude their weekend road trip with a PBC twinbill at Armstrong State University on Sunday at 1 p.m.

In game two, sophomore left fielder Briana Barzola led FMU with a 4-for-6 effort that included three runs scored and two RBIs.  Junior catcher Shannan Lopez, senior third baseman Shelby Mathews, and freshman first baseman Madison Lowe-Gardner all collected two hits and drove in two runs.

Patriot left-hander Kaitlin Munda earned the win in relief to even her season mark at 9-9, while senior righty Katie Carnes got the game's final out to earn her first save of 2015.

Flagler quickly built a 7-1 advantage after three innings.  FMU pulled with 7-3 after run-scoring singles by Barzola and Lopez in the fourth.  An RBI triple by Mathews in the sixth cut the deficit to 7-4, but the Saints responded with two runs in their half of the frame to expand the lead to 9-4.

Francis Marion then exploded for nine runs in the seventh to capture the come-from behind win. Five of the runs came with two outs.  Lowe-Gardner's two-run double to right centerfield plated the go-ahead runs.  Sophomore center fielder Mikala Barnhart drove in two runs in the frame with an infielder grounder and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.  

Flagler's Haleigh Corbally (6-9) was tagged with the loss as she allowed four unearned runs on three hits in the decisive seventh.

In Saturday's opener, Flagler scored all five of its runs in the third inning, highlighted by a grand slam by shortstop Malloree Escue. 

FMU responded with a four-run fourth inning.  Carnes led off with a single and later scored on a Saints' throwing error.  Senior third baseman Shelby Mathews scored the second run on a wild pitch.  With runners on first and second, freshman right fielder Tori Gaskins then hit what appeared to be a game-tying three-run homer.  However, after Gaskins rounded first base she passed the trailing Patriot baserunner and was called out, resulting in only a two-run single and the Patriots still trailing 5-4.

Neither team would score again.  Sophomore center fielder Mikala Barnhart doubled with two outs in the seventh, but was stranded there.  Barnhart finished game one 2-for-4.

Carnes (7-4) took the loss in the circle as she surrendered five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.  Mallory Allen (1-1) earned the win in relief as she tossed 3.2 scoreless frames.

Flagler 5, Francis Marion 4 (Apr 11, 2015 at St. Augustine, Fla.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 000 400 0 -  4  6  2      (20-19, 6-11 PBC)
Flagler.............      005 000 X -  5  7  1      (12-30, 3-12 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Katie Carnes and Shannan Lopez. Flagler - Haleigh Corbally;
Mallory Allen(4) and Mackenzie Conley; Hollianne Dohrn.
Win-Mallory Allen(1-1)  Loss-Katie Carnes(7-4)  T-2:03  A-0
HR FLG - Malloree Escue (5).
Weather: 76; sunny; 78% humid; no wind


Francis Marion 13, Flagler 11 (Apr 11, 2015 at St. Augusitne, Fla.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 100 201 9 - 13 16  2      (21-19, 7-11 PBC)
Flagler.............       232 002 2 - 11 18  8      (12-31, 3-13 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Shelby Kelley; Kaitlin Munda(2); Katie Carnes(7) and Shannan Lopez.
Flagler - Katelynn Smith; Mallory Allen(6); Haleigh Corbally(7); Tinsley Smith(7);
Erin Anderson(7) and Mackenzie Conley; Hollianne Dohrn.
Win-Kaitlin Munda(9-9)  Save-Katie Carnes(1)  Loss-Haleigh Corbally(6-9)  T-2:48  A-95
Weather: 76; sunny; 78% humidity
Smith faced 6 batters in the 7th.