Chiudina’s blast gives Francis Marion softball split with CSU

Chiudina’s blast gives Francis Marion softball split with CSU

FLORENCE, SC – Junior third baseman Sam Chiudina belted a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning to break up a scoreless deadlock and spark Francis Marion University to a 5-1 win over Columbus State University in the opening game of Sunday's (April 9) Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader.  The Cougars overcame an early deficit in game two to capture an 11-2 victory and a split of the twinbill.

Francis Marion (27-19, 9-13) will play its final regular-season contests next Saturday with a PBC doubleheader on the road at the University of Montevallo.

FMU freshman right-hander Sydney Holland (13-11) and Cougar sophomore righty Darby Demarest (7-7) matched zeros through the opening three frames of game one.  Chiudina's blast over the left field fence followed a walk to senior right fielder Taylor Brunson and a bunt single that hugged the first-base chalk line by sophomore shortstop Taylor Johnson.  With nine homers this season, Chiudina is within two of the Patriot single-season record of 11 set by Heather Garrison in 2004 and matched by Ashley Burney in 2014.

Columbus State (26-20-1, 12-8) answered with a single run in the top of the fifth, but the Patriots added a pair of insurance tallies in the last of the sixth.  Freshman second baseman Rayni Newman led off with a triple to right center field and scored on a safely squeeze bunt by freshman designated player Shania Domingue.  Chiudina followed with a single and later came around to score on a two-out throwing error.

Holland allowed only five singles and struck out eight while walking three.

Both Chiudina and senior left fielder Briana Barzola finished the opener with two hits.

Junior center fielder Kia Smith led the Cougars at the plate with two hits in game one.

Trailing 1-0 in the opening frame of game two, FMU plated a pair of runs to take a 2-1 advantage.  Domingue lined a bases-loaded single off the pitcher's glove that eventually bounced off the second base bag to drive in both runs.

The Cougars quickly knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the second and took the lead for good in the fourth on a two-run single to right center by catcher Lee Anne Rees.  Rees registered a perfect 4-for-4 outing with two runs scored and three runs driven in.  Left fielder Elizabeth Perdue tallied three hits, including a homer and three RBIs.

Sophomore first baseman Jennie Polak was the lone Patriot with multiple hits in the second contest.

Holland also started game two and was tagged with the loss as she surrendered eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits in six innings.  Sophomore right-hander Peyton Sorrells (8-3) picked up the win with a complete-game effort.  Both the runs she allowed in the first were unearned.

Prior to the twinbill, FMU honored its three seniors: Barzola, Brunson, and center fielder Mikala Barnhart.

Francis Marion Univ. 5, Columbus State Univ. 1 (Apr 09, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Columbus State Univ. 000 010 0 -  1  5  1      (25-20-1, 11-8 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ.   000 302 X -  5  7  0      (27-18, 9-12 PBC)
Pitchers: Columbus State Univ. - Darby Demarest and Savanna Turvy. Francis Marion Univ. -
Sydney Holland and Morgan Smith.
Win-Sydney Holland (13-10)  Loss-Darby Demarest (7-7)  T-1:50  A-93
HR FMU_SB - Sam Chiudina (9).
Weather: Mostly Sunny,68,Winds NW @ 5


Columbus State Univ. 11, Francis Marion Univ. 2 (Apr 09, 2017 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Columbus State Univ. 110 203 4 - 11 14  2      (26-20-1, 12-8 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ.   200 000 0 -  2  8  5      (27-19, 9-13 PBC)
Pitchers: Columbus State Univ. - Peyton Sorrells and Lee Anne Rees. Francis Marion Univ. -
Sydney Holland; Cristi Pressley (7); Samantha Wroblewski (7) and Morgan Smith.
Win-Peyton Sorrells (8-3)  Loss-Sydney Holland (13-11)  T-2:26
HR CSU - Elizabeth Perdue (14).
Weather: Mostly Sunny,72,Wind S @ 7 mph
Holland faced 1 batter in the 7th.