Consecutive homers give Francis Marion softball sweep

Consecutive homers give Francis Marion softball sweep

MARS HILL, NC – Sophomore catcher Chelsea Welty and freshman outfielder Rayni Newman belted back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to power Francis Marion University to an 11-8 extra-inning win over Mars Hill University and a sweep of Sunday's (Feb. 26) non-conference softball doubleheader.  Junior third baseman Sam Chiudina had two hits and drove in four runs to spark FMU to a 14-4 victory in the opener.

Francis Marion pounded out 31 hits in the doubleheader sweep which runs the Patriots' winning streak to six games and ups their season record to 12-4. FMU will play host to Erskine College on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

In the second contest, both teams scored runs in the seventh inning to leave the score knotted at 7-7 and force extra innings.  In the top of the eighth, Welty drilled a three-run homer and Newman followed with a solo shot to give the Patriots an 11-7 lead.

Mars Hill scored once in the bottom of the frame, but FMU freshman right-hander Cristi Pressley (1-0) retired the Lions to earn her first collegiate decision.  She scattered six hits, allowed two earned runs and struck out three in 6.2 innings of work.

Welty and sophomore first baseman Jennie Polak both registered three hits in game two, while four Patriots had two hits apiece: Newman, Chiudina, senior outfielder Briana Barzola, and sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson.  Welty finished with five runs batted in, while Johnson and Polak each plated two tallies.

Barzola was 1-for-3 in the opener and 2-for-5 in second game to extend her hitting streak to 13 games and her season-long reached base safely streak to 16.

In game one, Chiudina's two-run single highlighted a seven-run second inning.  She added a second 2-run single in the third inning.  Senior center fielder Mikala Barnhart finished the contest 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one driven in, while Welty and designated hitter Shania Domingue joined Chiudina with two hits apiece.

Junior righty Samantha Wroblewski (5-1) relieved starter Sydney Holland in the second inning and picked up the win.  She allowed one run on three hits while fanning two.

Freshman designated hitter Emiley Burriss had two hits in each contest for Mars Hill (5-9), while Shelby Culler (2-3) and Casey Stanek (1-3) were the two losing pitchers.

Francis Marion 14, Mars Hill 4 (Feb 26, 2017 at Mars Hill, N.C.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 072 32 - 14 14  1      (11-4)
Mars Hill...........      030 10 -  4  6  3      (5-8)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Sydney Holland; Samantha Wroblewski(2) and Chelsea Welty.
Mars Hill - S. Culler; S. Elkin (2); B. Duncan (4) and Taylor Lail.
Win-Samantha Wroblewski (5-1)  Loss-S. Culler (2-3)  T-1:57  A-100
HR MHU - Taylor Lail (3); Emily Crouse (1).
Weather: sunny


Francis Marion 11, Mars Hill 8 (Feb 26, 2017 at Mars Hill, N.C.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 012 201 14 - 11 17  2      (12-4)
Mars Hill...........      050 010 11 -  8 12  0      (5-9)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Sydney Holland; Samantha Wroblewski(2); Cristi Pressley(2) and
Chelsea Welty. Mars Hill - Casey Stanek; S. Elkin(8) and Coral Foster; Taylor Lail.
Win-Cristi Pressley (1-0)  Loss-Casey Stanek (1-3)  T-2:42  A-150
HR FMU_SB - Chelsea Welty (2); Rayni Newman (2).
Weather: clear and cool
Casey Stanek faced 3 batters in the 8th.