Patriot Softball drops pair to Pacers

Patriot Softball drops pair to Pacers

AIKEN, SC – Francis Marion University lost a pair of one-run Peach Belt Conference decisions, 2-1 and 7-6, to USC Aiken with the Patriots stranding the tying run on third base to end both contests, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 27) in women's softball action.

Francis Marion (10-6, 0-2) will return home on Sunday to host Mars Hill University for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at the FMU Softball Stadium.  The twinbill is a rescheduled pair from an earlier weather postponement this season.

In Saturday's opener, USCA pushed across the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth with a hit batter when the bases were loaded and two outs.  In the top of the seventh, FMU's designated player Mykah Nevin led off with a single.  Senior Kristen English pinch ran for Nevin and moved to second on a passed ball and then took third on a sacrifice bunt, but was stranded there.

Senior righty Shelby Kelley was tagged with the loss as she surrendered eight hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts.

Francis Marion tied the game at 1-1 in the fifth on an RBI-single through the left side by junior right fielder Kaylee Childers.

The Patriots were held to just five hits by Taylor Morgan in game one.

In the second contest, FMU rallied to tie the score at 4-4 in the fourth inning when Childers was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.  Childers also stroked an RBI single earlier in the game.  However, USCA plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a home run by Morgan, to assume a 7-4 advantage.

The Patriots crept to within 7-6 on a two-out, two-run triple by junior center fielder Mikala Barnhart, but she was stranded on third as USCA recorded the final out via a strikeout.

Kelley (5-5) relieved FMU starter Samantha Wroblewski in the second inning and also absorbed the game-two loss.

Junior left fielder Briana Barzola went 3-for-4 at the plate in the second contest to lead Francis Marion.  Barnhart was 2-for-3 with a run scored and three driven in.  Barzola also recorded one hit in Saturday's first game.

Morgan (6-1) came on in relief of Pacer starter Chandler Terrapin to also record the game-two win.

USC Aiken 2, Francis Marion 1 (Feb 27, 2016 at Aiken, S.C.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 000 010 0 -  1  5  0      (10-5, 0-1 PBC)
USC Aiken........... 001 001 X -  2  8  2      (10-3, 1-0 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Shelby Kelle and Chelsea Welty. USC Aiken - Taylor Morgan and
Andrea Darin.  Win-Taylor Morgan (5-1)  Loss-Shelby Kelley (5-4)  T-1:56  A-229
Weather: Sunny, cool


USC Aiken 7, Francis Marion 6 (Feb 27, 2016 at Aiken, S.C.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 030 100 2 -  6  8  2      (10-6, 0-2 PBC)
USC Aiken........... 220 003 X -  7 12  3      (11-3, 2-0 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Samantha Wroblewski; Shelby Kelle(2) and Chelsea Welty. USC Aiken -
Chandler Terrapin; Taylor Morgan(6) and Lilly Shoaf; Andrea Darin.
Win-Taylor Morgan (6-1)  Loss-Shelby Kelley (5-5)  T-2:20  A-218
HR USCA - Taylor Morgan.
Weather: Sunny, cool