Barzola drives Patriots to sweep of Knights

Barzola drives Patriots to sweep of Knights

FLORENCE, SC – Junior left fielder Briana Barzola collected five hits and drove in five runs, including an inside-the-park grand slam, to power Francis Marion University to a doubleheader sweep of St. Andrews University, Tuesday evening (Feb. 16) in non-conference softball action.  Senior right-hander Shelby Kelley pitched a four-hit shutout as FMU won the opener 8-0 in five innings and then returned to pick up a save in the game-two 13-6 victory.

Francis Marion improves to 4-2 overall and will entertain unbeaten Newberry College (8-0) for a twinbill on Wednesday at 3 p.m.  The game will be Faculty Appreciation Day as senior student-athletes will recognize faculty members who have been instrumental in their careers.

In game one, Kelley (2-1) struck out five and walked three.

Junior center fielder Mikala Barnhart highlighted a six-run fourth frame with a three-run inside-the-park home run.  Her sinking liner in shallow right field eluded a diving outfielder and rolled to the fence as she rounded the bases.  Earlier in the inning, senior third baseman Sharee Blomquist laced a two-run double down the right field line.

Both Barzola and senior first baseman Shannan Lopez registered two hits in the opener.

Knights' right-hander Hawley Ill (1-3) pitched 3.1 innings and absorbed the loss.

In the second contest, Barzola went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in addition to her five RBIs.  Freshman catcher Chelsea Welty was 2-for-4, including a long two-run homer into the scoreboard netting beyond the left field fence in the first inning.  Both Blomquist and junior second baseman Taylor Brunson also had two hits, with Blomquist driving in one run.

Barnhart also added a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Barzola's grand slam highlighted a six-run third inning that staked the Patriots to an early 9-0 advantage.  Her line drive to left field got past a diving outfielder and rolled to the fence.  The slap-hitting lead-off batter added an RBI-double in the fifth inning.  Entering the contest, Barzola – an All-Conference selection in 2015 – had only one extra-base hit in 95 career games.

In total, FMU erupted for 14 hits, including six for extra bases, in the nightcap.

Sophomore righty Samantha Wroblewski (2-1) earned the game-two win.  She fanned four in 4.2 innings of work.  Kelley, who tied the FMU's single-season record for saves with three in 2015, pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowing only two hits and no runs with three strikeouts to earn her first save of 2016.

St. Andrews starter Corinne Eosso (0-1) was tagged with the loss.  Designated player Elisa Haire led the Knights in game two with a 2-for-4 performance that produced three RBIs.  Kori Ballard went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one driven in.

Francis Marion Univ. 8, St. Andrews Univ. 0 (Feb 16, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
St. Andrews Univ.... 000 00 -  0  4  3      (1-5)
Francis Marion Univ. 002 6X -  8  7  0      (3-2)
Pitchers: St. Andrews Univ. - Hawley Ill; Kori Ballard(4) and Kaelin Packer.
Francis Marion Univ. - Shelby Kelley and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Shelby Kelley(2-1)  Loss-Hawley Ill(1-3)  T-1:40  A-0
HR FMU_SB - Mikala Barnhart (1).
Weather: Sunny, 58, Winds WNW @ 7 mph


Francis Marion Univ. 13, St. Andrews Univ. 6 (Feb 16, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
St. Andrews Univ....   000 330 0 -  6  5  2      (1-6)
Francis Marion Univ. 306 031 X - 13 14  3      (4-2)
Pitchers: St. Andrews Univ. - Corinne Eosso; Hawley Ill(1); Nancy Amos(3) and Jordyn Peay.
Francis Marion Univ. - Samantha Wroblewski; Shelby Kelley(5) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Samantha Wroblewski(2-1)  Save-Shelby Kelley(1)  Loss-Corinne Eosso(0-1)  T-2:41  A-67
HR FMU_SB - Briana Barzola (1); Chelsea Welty (2).
Weather: Clear, 61, Winds W @ 8 mph