Newman’s Big Day leads to split on diamond

Newman’s Big Day leads to split on diamond

FLORENCE, SC – Freshman second baseman Rayni Newman drove in six runs with a pair of homers and two singles as Francis Marion University split its Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader with Georgia Southwestern State University on Saturday (April 8) afternoon.  FMU rallied to capture the opener 6-4, while the Hurricanes came from behind to record a 10-8 victory in game two.

Francis Marion (26-18, 8-12) will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday at 1 p.m. when the Patriots play host to Columbus State University.

In Saturday's opener, Francis Marion spotted Georgia Southwestern a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  However, FMU quickly responded with four runs in the bottom half of the first. Newman plated the first run with a single through the right side and junior third baseman Sam Chiudina followed with a three-run homer over the left field fence.

After the busy first frame, neither team scored over the next three innings.  A two-run blast by Newman in the fifth inning upped the Patriot advantage to 6-3. 

FMU freshman right-hander Sydney Holland (12-10) registered the complete-game win.  After the first inning, she allowed only three more hits and one unearned run (in the seventh), while fanning four and issued only one walk.

Newman finished the opener 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three driven in.

Freshman righty Shannon Gibson (6-11) went the distance for GSW, surrendering six runs (all earned) on seven hits.

In the second contest, FMU again scratched the scoreboard in its first at bat.  Newman accounted for the first run with an RBI-single through the left side and two batters later the second run crossed the plate on a throwing error as the Hurricanes attempted to turn a double play.

Georgia Southwestern responded with three runs in the third and two more in the fourth off FMU junior starter Samantha Wroblewski as the Hurricanes assumed a 5-2 lead.

The Patriots knotted the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth.  Sophomore first baseman Jennie Polak lined a run-scoring single up the middle, and with two outs, senior left fielder Briana Barzola reached on a fielding error that allowed two more runs to score.

A long towering two-run home run by Newman in the last of the fifth restored Francis Marion to the lead at 7-5 and sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson ripped an RBI-double to the right center field gap in the sixth to up the margin to 8-5.  Johnson's mother Cathy, a breast cancer survivor, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday as Francis Marion held its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

GSW rallied to score five times in the top of the seventh on five hits and three walks.  FMU freshman right-hander Cristi Pressley (4-3) was charged with the loss after she relieved Wroblewski in the sixth.

Sophomore Kaley Sikes (4-7) earned the win as she registered the final six outs in relief.

Newman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs in the second contest.

GSW senior left fielder Brittany Davis finished the twinbill a combined 5-for-8 with three runs scored and four driven in.

       Rayni Newman
Francis Marion Univ. 6, Georgia Southwestern 4 (Apr 08, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Georgia Southwestern 300 000 1 -  4  7  0      (19-28, 4-13 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ.    400 020 X -  6  7  1      (26-17, 8-11 PBC)
Pitchers: Georgia Southwestern - Gibson and Barlow. Francis Marion Univ. - Sydney Holland and Morgan Smith.
Win-Sydney Holland (12-10)  Loss-Gibson (6-11)  T-1:37  A-103
HR FMU_SB - Rayni Newman (6); Sam Chiudina (8).
Weather: Partly Cloudy,61,Wind NNW @ 10


Georgia Southwestern 10, Francis Marion Univ. 8 (Apr 08, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Georgia Southwestern 003 200 5 - 10 13  3      (20-28, 5-13 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ.    200 321 0 -  8  8  2      (26-18, 8-12 PBC)
Pitchers: Georgia Southwestern - Childs; Sikes (6) and Barlow. Francis Marion Univ. -
Samantha Wroblewski; Cristi Pressley (6); Sydney Holland (7) and Morgan Smith.
Win-Sikes (4-7)  Loss-Cristi Pressley (4-3)  T-2:01
HR FMU_SB - Rayni Newman (7).
Weather: Broken haze,63,Wind W @ 8 mph
Wroblewski faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Pressley faced 5 batters in the 7th.