Nevin powers Patriots to split with UNCP

Nevin powers Patriots to split with UNCP

PEMBROKE, NC  – Senior designated player Mykah Nevin drove in six runs to help power Francis Marion University to a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader split with UNC Pembroke, Wednesday (March 9) in softball action.  FMU won game two 8-4, after dropping the opener 6-5 on a walk-off homer by the Braves.

Francis Marion (18-8, 3-3) has won eight of its last 10 games.  The Patriots will continue their stretch of six consecutive road doubleheaders with a twinbill at PBC foe Georgia Southwestern State University on Saturday at noon.

Trailing 2-1 entering the fifth inning of game two, FMU took advantage of two UNCP errors to score four runs to go up 5-2.  Junior second baseman Taylor Brunson delivered an RBI groundout in the fifth and junior center fielder Mikala Barnhart laced a run-scoring single in the sixth.

After the Braves scored twice to narrow the gap to 5-4 in the sixth, Nevin walloped a 2-run double and senior first baseman Shannan Lopez followed with a run-scoring double to up the Patriot lead to 8-4.

FMU senior right-hander Shelby Kelley (10-7) registered the complete-game win.  She allowed 10 hits, walked four, and struck out a career-high tying 11.

Nevin, Lopez, Barnhart, and freshman catcher Chelsea Welty all had two hits with at least one RBI in game two.

UNCP's Abbey Walters (3-2) was the loser in the pitching circle, while also going 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple and two RBIs.

Wednesday's opener ended in a heart-wrenching fashion for the Patriots.  Nevin drilled a one-out three-run homer to left centerfield in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5.  However, in the bottom half of the frame, Braves shortstop Taylor Gerhart hit a walk-off solo shot to center fielder with one out.

The top three Patriots in the lineup all contributed two hits: junior left field Briana Barzola (2-for-4), Brunson (2-for-3), and Welty (2-for-3).  Barzola leads the squad with 10 multi-hit games this season.

Kelley took the game-one loss as she entered the circle in that fateful seventh frame.  Sophomore righty Samantha Wroblewski tossed the opening six innings, scattering 11 hits, walking none, and fanning five.

Both teams matched single tallies in the third inning. UNCP scored once in the last of the fourth, but Francis Marion rallied to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a RBI groundout by Nevin.  The Braves scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and once in the last of the sixth to take a 5-2 advantage and set the stage for the final frame.

Gerhart, catcher Toni Nelson, and third baseman Jamie Johnson all rapped out three hits for UNCP in game one.  Katie Saunders (7-4) pitched the complete-game victory, registering six strikeouts.

UNC Pembroke 6, Francis Marion 5 (Mar 09, 2016 at Pembroke, N.C.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion......    001 010 3 -  5 10  0      (17-8, 2-3 PBC)
UNC Pembroke........ 001 121 1 -  6 12  2      (12-8-1, 3-0 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Samantha Wroblewski; Shelby Kelley(7) and Chelsea Welty. UNC Pembroke - Katie Saunders and Toni Nelson.
Win-Katie Saunders (7-4)  Loss-Shelby Kelley (9-7)  T-1:56  A-101
HR FMU_SB - Mykah Nevin (2) ; HR UNCP - Taylor Gerhart 2 (4).
Weather: 77, partly cloudy; SSW 13 mph


Francis Marion 8, UNC Pembroke 4 (Mar 09, 2016 at Pembroke, N.C.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 100 022 3 -  8 10  0      (18-8, 3-3 PBC)
UNC Pembroke........ 200 002 0 -  4 10  3      (12-9-1, 3-1 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Shelby Kelley and Chelsea Welty. UNC Pembroke - Abbey Walters and
Toni Nelson.
Win-Shelby Kelley(10-7)  Loss-Abbey Walters(3-2)  T-1:57  A-116
Weather: 74 and sunny, SSW 13 mph