FMU suffers two one-run losses to second-place Bobcats

FMU suffers two one-run losses to second-place Bobcats

FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University battled second-place Georgia College to the brink, but eventually suffered a pair of one-run losses, 7-6 and 5-4, Wednesday afternoon (April 11) in Peach Belt Conference softball action.

Francis Marion (18-22, 4-12) will play a key conference doubleheader at USC Aiken on Saturday at 1 p.m.  The Patriots will play their final home games on Sunday with a non-conference twinbill against Tusculum College 1 p.m.

Georgia College (29-11, 10-2) entered Wednesday as the top hitting squad (.357) in the Peach Belt, and now stands only a game out of first place.

Sophomore designated player Shania Domingue led Francis Marion at the plate with a two-run double in game one and two hits and an RBI in the second contest.  Freshman center fielder Karson Parker also totaled three hits on the day.

In Wednesday's second contest, the Bobcats scored twice in the top of first, but Francis Marion rallied with three runs in its opening at bat.  Junior shortstop Taylor Johnson led off the bottom of the first with a double to left centerfielder.  She came home on an RBI single to right center by junior catcher Jaimie Harney.  Harney later scored on a run-scoring hit up the middle by Domingue, and twin sister Jessica Harney scored the third run on a Bobcat error.

A solo homer by Johnson leading off the second upped the FMU advantage to 4-2. Francis Marion freshman right-hander Reece Davis (6-8) held the Bobcat bats in check through the first five frames.  However, Georgia College scored three times in the fifth – on a wild pitch, a sac fly, and a two-out infield single – to retake the lead at 5-4.

FMU went in order in the sixth and managed only a two-out single in the seventh.

Bobcat junior southpaw Kayla Price (7-2) pitched 6.2 innings in relief to earn the win. Georgia College center fielder Caroline Snider went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the second contest.

Reece surrendered the five runs on eight hits with one strikeout.

In the opener, Georgia College built a 6-0 advantage after five innings and then held off a late FMU rally that saw the Patriots score three times in each of the sixth and seventh frames.  A two-run double to left field by Domingue and an RBI single to center by freshman outfielder Taylor DeLeon accounted for the first three runs.

The Bobcats added what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the seventh to lead 7-3.  Junior first baseman Jessica Harney blasted a two-out three-run home run to left center field in the bottom of the seventh to draw the Patriots to within 7-6.  The blast improved Harney's season record for home runs to 13 and made her the Patriot all-time single-season RBI leader with 52, bettering the old mark of 51 set by infielder Tatjana Slawson in 2004.

Following the long ball, Georgia College relief pitcher Danielle Rubin got the final out to record her first save of 2018.  Bobcat starting pitcher Jessie Morris (8-1) allowed three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings.

FMU sophomore righty Sydney Holland (11-13) suffered the loss although only four of the seven runs were earned. She fanned six.

The home run extended Jessica Harney's hitting streak to nine games, but it was snapped in the second contest.


Georgia College 7, Francis Marion Univ. 6 (Apr 11, 2018 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Georgia College.....  103 110 1 -  7 13  1      (28-11, 9-2 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 000 003 3 -  6  6  1      (18-21, 4-11 PBC)
Pitchers: Georgia College - Jessie Morris; Danielle Rubin(6) and Haley Howell.
Francis Marion Univ. - Sydney Holland and Jaimie Harney.
Win-Jessie Morris (8-1)  Save-Danielle Rubin (1)  Loss-Sydney Holland (11-13)  T-2:22  A-168
HR FMU_SB - Jessica Harney (13).
Weather: Partly Cloudy,63,Winds N@6 mph

Georgia College 5, Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Apr 11, 2018 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Georgia College.....   200 003 0 -  5  8  1      (29-11, 10-2 PBC)
Francis Marion Univ. 310 000 0 -  4  8  2      (18-22, 4-12 PBC)
Pitchers: Georgia College - Rebecca Lawrence; Kayla Price(1) and Haley Howell.
Francis Marion Univ. - Reece Davis and Jaimie Harney.
Win-Kayla Price (7-2)  Loss-Reece Davis (6-8)  T-2:23
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson (3).
Weather: Partly Cloudy,64,Winds calm