Ellard, Hemingway lead Patriots to sweep of Valkyries

Ellard, Hemingway lead Patriots to sweep of Valkyries

FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard tossed a no-hitter to help Francis Marion University to a 9-0 game-one victory, and freshman righty Janecia Hemingway belted a pair of homers and earned her first collegiate win in an 8-1 sweep-clinching defeat of Converse College on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 3) at the FMU Softball Stadium.

FMU (3-1) hits the road for its next six contests, starting on Friday (Feb. 8) with a doubleheader at Southern Wesleyan University which begins at 4 p.m. Francis Marion returns home to host the Patriot Invitational Tournament, Feb. 15-17, at the FMU Softball Stadium.

It was the first collegiate no-hitter for Ellard (2-0), who played her freshman season at Division I UMass-Lowell. The righty fanned six and issued only one free pass in her six frames of work. She set down the final seven Valkyries (0-2) in order.

The Patriots took the lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI-single by senior first baseman Jessica Harney. With two outs, senior right fielder (and twin sister) Jaimie Harney doubled in a trio of runs to make it 4-0.

Francis Marion added to the lead in the second when sophomore center fielder Taylor DeLeon led off with a triple and later scored on a Converse error. The margin ballooned to seven in the fourth on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Jessica Harney and senior catcher Chelsea Welty.

Jessica Harney brought the contest to an end in the home half of the sixth as she launched a two-run homer to right-center field. The long ball ended the game due to the 8-run mercy rule.

In game two, Hemingway (1-0) helped her own cause in the bottom of the second, belting a solo homer to left to give the Patriots the lead. It was the first collegiate knock for the Conway native, who later tripled and scored in the fourth on a base hit by freshman left fielder Danielle Karacson, and launched a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth.

In the circle, Hemingway tossed a complete game in her first collegiate start, scattering five hits, allowing one unearned run, and fanning three.

Francis Marion added a pair of runs in the third on run-scoring singles by Welty and freshman designated player Addie May. Karacson's fourth-inning hit put FMU up 4-0.

Converse scratched across its lone run in the fifth, when freshman Hailey Spitler took advantage of a Patriot error to get within three.

In the home half, FMU added four more on Jessica Harney's second homer of the day, Hemingway's two-run shot, and a DeLeon run-producing single.

Spitler (0-1) took the loss for Converse in game one, yielding six earned runs in four innings. Freshman righty Savannah Rodgers (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Valkyries in game two after allowing eight runs in 4.2 frames of work.


Post-Game comments from FMU head coach Stacey Vallee and pitchers Katelyn Ellard and Janecia Hemingway

Francis Marion 9, Converse 0 (Feb 3, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Converse............    000 000  -  0  0  4      (0-1)
Francis Marion...... 410 202  -  9  9  1      (2-1)
Pitchers: Converse - Hailey Spitler; Courtney Walls (5) and Meredith Quarles. Francis Marion -
Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Katelyn Ellard (2-0)  Loss-Hailey Spitler (0-1)  T-2:36  A-111
HR FMU_SB - Jaimie Harney.
Weather: Overcast, 57, Winds NNE at 7 m
Francis Marion 8, Converse 1 (Feb 3, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Converse............    000 010 0 -  1  5  2      (0-2)
Francis Marion...... 012 140 X -  8 11  1      (3-1)
Pitchers: Converse - Savannah Rodgers; Marissa Martin (5) and Meredith Quarles. Francis Marion - Janecia Hemingway and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Janecia Hemingway (1-0)  Loss-Savannah Rodgers (0-1)  T-1:56
HR FMU_SB - Jaimie Harney; Janecia Hemingway 2.
Weather: Overcast, 56, Winds NNW 8 mph

                                  Katelyn Ellard