FMU pitching blanks Falcons on Senior Day

FLORENCE, SC – Senior right-hander Shelby Kelley and sophomore righty Samantha Wroblewski tossed three- and five-hit shutouts respectively as Francis Marion University swept Saturday's (April 16) Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader from the University of Montevallo and in the process qualified for the upcoming PBC Tournament.

Francis Marion ends it regular season with a 34-20 overall mark, the highest win total in seven seasons.  The Patriots finish 11-13 in conference play and are guaranteed of a spot in next weekend's conference tournament which will start Friday in Milledgeville, Ga.  Other action on Sunday will determine the final seedings.

Kelley, who was honored along with five other seniors prior to Saturday's twinbill, struck out five and did not walk a batter during her three-hit shutout in game one. She needed only 83 pitched to improve to 17-14 on the season and register her team-high 20th complete game.

FMU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Junior left fielder Kaylee Childers stroked a lead-off single up the middle.  She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a ground out to the right side, and scored on a passed ball.  Childers was the only player with a multiple-hit performance in the opener as she finished 2-for-3.

The margin doubled to 2-0 in the fifth when senior pinch runner Kristen English scored on an infield single by freshman shortstop Taylor Johnson.  Another passed ball came into play during the inning as it allowed English to advance to third prior to Johnson's two-out hit that caromed off the pitcher's glove.

Three Montevallo pitchers held FMU to only five hits.  Junior right-hander Jocelyn Rivera (5-18) started both games for the Falcons and was tagged with a pair of tough-luck losses.

In game two, Wroblewski (17-6) surrendered just the five hits, while fanning five and walking only one.  She stranded three base runners in the third and left runners on second and third when she recorded the game's final out on a grounder to second.

Francis Marion scored the game's only tally in the bottom of the first off Rivera. Senior first baseman Mykah Nevin doubled to left field with two outs.  She came around to score when freshman catcher Chelsea Welty's drive to center field was dropped for a two-base error.

The same three Montevllo pitchers again held FMU to five hits.   Childers added another hit in game two, while junior right fielder Briana Barzola and junior second baseman Taylor Brunson had a hit in each game.

Both left fielder Celestia Davila and shortstop Shelby Clark had a hit in each game for the Falcons (19-34, 3-17).

In addition to Kelley, English, and Nevin; seniors Sharee Blomquist, Shannan Lopez, and Taylor Barrineau all made their final home appearance.

Francis Marion Univ. 2, Univ. of Montevallo 0 (Apr 16, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Univ. of Montevallo. 000 000 0 -  0  3  2      (19-33, 3-16 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 010 010 X -  2  5  1      (33-20, 10-13 PBC)
Pitchers: Univ. of Montevallo - Rivera, Jocelyn; Pratt, Abbey(4); Armstrong, Jana K(6) and
Federico, Lady Sarah. Francis Marion Univ. - Shelby Kelley and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Shelby Kelley(17-14)  Loss-Rivera, Jocelyn(5-17)  T-1:42  A-0
Weather: Mostly sunny,59,Winds ENE @ 8


Francis Marion Univ. 1, Univ. of Montevallo 0 (Apr 16, 2016 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Univ. of Montevallo. 000 000 0 -  0  5  3      (19-34, 3-17 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 100 000 X -  1  5  2      (34-20, 11-13 PBC)
Pitchers: Univ. of Montevallo - Rivera, Jocelyn; Pratt, Abbey(3); Armstrong, Jana K(5) and
Lopez, Shelby. Francis Marion Univ. - Samantha Wroblewski and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Samantha Wroblewski(17-6)  Loss-Rivera, Jocelyn(5-18)  T-1:41  A-100
Weather: Sunny, 67, Winds NE @ 15 mph