FMU Softball split first two games of Winter Wrangler

FMU Softball split first two games of Winter Wrangler

FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University split its first two games of the FMU Winter Wrangler with a 10-6 loss against Mars Hill University and a 6-2 victory over UVA Wise, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) in non-conference collegiate softball action.

After day one of the Winter Wrangler, the Patriots move their record to 9-5. On Sunday, FMU will host UVA Wise at noon and Mars Hill at 2 p.m. to finish up the tournament.  UVA Wise and Mars Hill will meet at 10 a.m. to open play.  Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

FMU junior catcher Chelsea Welty recorded a combined four hits in the two games, including three RBIs in the first contest. Freshman center fielder Karson Parker, junior shortstop Taylor Johnson, and junior second baseman Jennie Polak all tallied three hits on the day, while senior third baseman Sam Chiudina had one hit and three RBIs.

Both Johnson and Welty extended their season-long hitting streaks to 14 games.

In the first contest, Mars Hill and Francis Marion traded runs in the opening frame as the Lions' junior shortstop Ragan Broome scored on a passed ball. The bottom half included Welty singling to center field to plate Chiudina, tying the game at 1-1.

Mars Hill posted a four-run second inning, followed by a five-run third frame that gave them a 10-1 lead. The Patriots scored twice in the bottom of the third as Welty blasted a 2-run homer to left center field, plating junior first baseman Jessica Harney in the process and cutting the Lions' lead to 10-3.

FMU would make the game interesting in the last inning as Chiudina hit an opposite-field 3-run homer to right center making the score 10-6. The Patriots loaded the bases up later that frame, but a strikeout would end the game.

Junior righty Casey Stanek (2-1) picked up the win for Mars Hill, while sophomore right-handed pitcher Sydney Holland (4-2) took the loss for the Patriots.

The second game consisted of excellent pitching in the early innings. The offenses started to wake up in the third with single runs for both UVA Wise and Francis Marion. With the Patriots down 1-0 in their half of the third, Johnson led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a Welty knock up the middle to tie the game at 1-1.

The Cavaliers would take their second lead of the game in the fourth frame as junior catcher Lucindy Lawson lined a homer over the right field fence. The Patriots tied the game again in their half of the fourth as freshman pinch runner Madison Hatfield scored on a throwing error.

FMU would pull away in the fifth and sixth innings as Polak had an RBI-single to left field in the fifth. In the sixth, Chiudina scored on a wild pitch, junior right fielder Jaimie Harney hit an RBI double to left center field, and freshman designated player Reece Davis singled down the left field line plating the final run of the night.

Holland (5-2) earned the win in the second contest as she pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs on three hits and compiling six strikeouts.

Freshman righty Kailyn Spencer (1-1) picked up the loss for UVA Wise, tossing 5.1 innings and giving up four runs on nine hits and fanning five batters.

Francis Marion Univ. 6, UVA Wise 2 (Feb 24, 2018 at Florence, SC)
UVA Wise............     001 100 0 -  2  3  2      (4-2)
Francis Marion Univ. 001 113 X -  6 11  1      (9-5)
Pitchers: UVA Wise - Kailyn Spencer; Raychel Lapallo(6) and Lucindy Lawson.
Francis Marion Univ. - Sydney Holland and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Sydney Holland(5-2)  Loss-Kailyn Spencer(1-1)  T-2:08  A-148
HR WISE - Lucindy Lawson (3).

Mars Hill University 10, Francis Marion Univ. 6 (Feb 24, 2018 at Florence, SC)
Mars Hill University   145 000 0 - 10 10  0      (3-3)
Francis Marion Univ. 102 000 3 -  6 12  5      (8-5)
Pitchers: Mars Hill University - Casey Stanek; Brittany Duncan(7) and Taylor Lail.
Francis Marion Univ. - Sydney Holland; Reece Davis(3) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Casey Stanek(2-1)  Loss-Sydney Holland(4-2)  T-2:36  A-152
HR FMU_SB - Sam Chiudina (4); Chelsea Welty (5).
Weather: Partly Cloudy,83,windsNNW@6mph
C. Stanek faced 4 batters in the 7th.