Patriots sweep Wolves behind Welty, 6-3 and 2-1

Patriots sweep Wolves behind Welty, 6-3 and 2-1

FLORENCE, SC – Freshman catcher Chelsea Welty walloped a two-run homer in game one and drove in the eventual game-winning run with a double in game two as she help Francis Marion University to a doubleheader sweep, 6-3 and 2-1, of previously unbeaten Newberry College, Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 17) in non-conference women's softball action.

Francis Marion (6-2) runs its winning streak to six games after opening the season with a doubleheader loss.  The Patriots will host a four-team round-robin tournament this weekend.  FMU will play Hillsdale College on Friday at 5 p.m.  The Patriots will also play at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday.

Senior right-hander Shelby Kelley (3-1) scattered seven hits and fanned eight in Wednesday's opener. The Patriots received a hit from eight of the nine starters in the batting order.

Francis Marion took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when lead-off batter Briana Barzola reached on a fielding error, took second on a walk, went to third on a sacrifice bunt, and slid home safely ahead of the throw on Shannan Lopez's squeeze bunt. 

Newberry answered with a pair of runs in the second, but FMU responded with two runs in its half of the second frame. Senior third baseman Sharee Blomquist laced an RBI triple just inside the first base bag and later scored on junior center fielder Mikala Barnhart's infield single.

Welty belted her two-run shot over the center field fence to highlight a three-run fifth inning that gave the Patriots a 6-2 advantage. Sophomore designated player Tori Gaskins accounted for the other run with a two-out RBI single to right field.

Newberry righty Maude McCourry (4-1) suffered her first loss of 2016 as she allowed five earned runs in five innings of work.  Both shortstop Hailey Drawe and catcher Jeri Loffler had two hits for the Wolves in game one.

In game two, Francis Marion scored single tallies in the second and third innings.  Freshman shortstop Taylor Johnson stroked a run-scoring single up the middle in the second, and Welty drove her RBI double to left center in the third.

FMU sophomore right-hander Samantha Wroblewski (3-1) allowed six hits, but only a single fifth-inning run.  She struck out three and walked only one in six frames.  Kelley tossed a scoreless seventh inning to earn her second save of the year.

The Wolves did put the potential tying run in scoring position with one out in the last inning, but the following batter was called out for being hit by a bunted ball outside the batter's box and then Kelley recorded a strike out for the final out.

Devon Morrison (1-1) was the hard-luck loser in game two.  Newberry lead-off batter Christina Linton was a perfect 4-for-4 and drove in the lone Wolves' run.  


Francis Marion Univ. 6, Newberry College 3 (Feb 17, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Newberry College.... 020 001 0 -  3  7  2      (8-1)
Francis Marion Univ. 120 030 X -  6  8  1      (5-2)
Pitchers: Newberry College - Maude McCourry; Whitney Halley(6) and Jeri Loffler.
Francis Marion Univ. - Shelby Kelley and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Shelby Kelley(3-1)  Loss-Maude McCourry(4-1)  T-1:58  A-0
HR FMU_SB - Chelsea Welty (3).
Weather: Partly Sunny, 59, Winds WNW@8

Francis Marion 2, Newberry 1 (Feb 17, 2016 at Florence, S.C.) (Game 2)
Newberry............   000 010 0 -  1  7  1      (8-2)
Francis Marion...... 011 000 X -  2  6  1      (6-2)
Pitchers: Newberry - Devon Morrison and Madison Tepfenhart; Jeri Loffler. Francis Marion -
Samantha Wroblewski; Shelby Kelley (7) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Samantha Wroblewski (3-1)  Save-Shelby Kelley (2)  Loss-Devon Morrison (1-1)  T-2:00  A-63
Weather: Partly Sunny, 59