Patriots lose slugfest and twinbill to Mountain Lions

Patriots lose slugfest and twinbill to Mountain Lions

FLORENCE, SC – Despite five runs batted in from both sophomore catcher Chelsea Welty and sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson, Francis Marion University lost both ends of a Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader to Young Harris College on Monday evening (March 20).  The Mountain Lions won the opener 7-4 and held on for a 14-12 win in game two.

FMU (22-12, 4-6) will play a pair of road conference twinbills this weekend: Saturday at Flagler College at 1 p.m. and at Armstrong State University on Sunday at 1 p.m.

In game one, Johnson tied the game at 3-3 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning.  However, Young Harris tallied a single run in the fourth and three in the fifth to assume a 7-3 advantage.  The Patriots got one run back in the last of the sixth on a Briana Barzola RBI single.

Barzola finished the opener 2-for-4 with two runs batted in from her lead-off spot.

FMU freshman right-hander Sydney Holland (10-8) pitched 5.2 innings and was the losing pitcher.  She allowed all seven runs, but only two were earned owing to five Patriot miscues.

Young Harris senior righty Jeanie Perrucci pitched the first three innings and had two hits and two RBIs.  Junior right-hander Nikkie Kovalsky (13-4) was credited with the win in relief.

The nightcap turned into a marathon that featured a combined 26 runs and 32 hits with more than 350 pitches being thrown.

The Mountain Lions (23-7, 5-5) led 8-0 after their first two at bats, but a three-run outburst in the bottom of the second and four runs in the fourth brought Francis Marion to within 8-7. 

Entering the seventh, Young Harris held an 11-9 advantage.   The Mountain Lions scored three times to go ahead 14-9, but FMU answered with three in the bottom of the frame – on a Welty three-run bomb that nearly cleared the left field scoreboard beyond the fence – and had the tying runs in scoring position with two outs before Kovalsky (14-4) registered a strikeout to end the three-hour and 10-minute contest.

Both Barzola and Welty rapped out four hits in game two, while Johnson went 3-for-3 with another home run and three RBIs.  Freshman Rayni Newman, Morgan Smith, and Shania Domingue all had two hits as the Patriots totaled 19 hits in the second contest.  Morgan also recorded her first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to left in the sixth inning.

Five different Mountain Lions had two hits in the nightcap, including Perrucci , who also scored four times and drove in one run.

FMU junior righty Samantha Wroblewski (8-2) surrendered seven runs, but only one was earned, in her 1.2 inning-stint.


Young Harris College 7, Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Mar 20, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Young Harris College 030 130 0 -  7  8  2      (22-7, 4-5 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 012 001 0 -  4  6  5      (22-11, 4-5 PBC)
Pitchers: Young Harris College - Jeanie Perrucci; Nikkie Kovalsky (4) and Jill Torres.
Francis Marion Univ. - Sydney Holland; Samantha Wroblewski (6) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Nikkie Kovalsky (13-4)  Loss-Sydney Holland (10-8)  T-2:23  A-50
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson (3).
Weather: Sunny,63,Wind N @ 6 mph


Young Harris College 14, Francis Marion Univ. 12 (Mar 20, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Young Harris College 260 030 3 - 14 13  0      (23-7, 5-5 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 030 402 3 - 12 19  3      (22-12, 4-6 PBC)
Pitchers: Young Harris College - Nikkie Kovalsky; Kennedy Kotula (4); Jeanie Perrucci (6) and Jill Torres.
Francis Marion Univ. - Samantha Wroblewski; Cristi Pressley (2); Sydney Holland (2) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Nikkie Kovalsky (14-4)  Loss-Samantha Wroblewski (8-2)  T-3:10
HR YHC - Kelsey Nix (2).
HR FMU_SB - Chelsea Welty (5); Taylor Johnson (4); Morgan Smith (1).
Weather: Clear,67,Winds NE @ 8 mph