Johnson’s power display helps Patriots split pair

Johnson’s power display helps Patriots split pair

FLORENCE, SC – Senior shortstop Taylor Johnson clubbed three homers and a double to help Francis Marion University split a pair of games on the final day of the Swamp Fox Sizzler Softball Tournament on Sunday (Feb. 24).  FMU defeated West Liberty University 10-2 in Sunday's first contest and then the Patriots saw their eight-game winning streak snapped with a 7-1 loss to Queens University of Charlotte in the nightcap.

The Patriots, now 12-4, will play a non-conference doubleheader at Erskine College on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.  The next home date for Francis Marion will be a March 3 twinbill against Tusculum College at 1 p.m.

In the opener, Johnson hammered a pair of homers and a double, drove in five runs and scored three times. Senior third baseman Angela Buccilli was 2-for-2 with a run batted in, while senior catcher Chelsea Welty was 2-for-3 with a solo home run, and sophomore right fielder Karson Parker was 2-for-3.  Senior first baseman Jessica Harney clouted her fifth homer of the year – a solo shot to left field in the first frame.

After West Liberty catcher Kat Donzella homered in the first inning for the second consecutive day against FMU, the Patriots answered with eight unanswered runs to lead 8-1 after four innings.  A two-run homer by Johnson off the top of scoreboard in left ended the game in the last of the sixth inning due to the 8-run mercy rule.

Sophomore righty Katelyn Ellard ran her season mark to 7-0 by scattering five hits and striking out 11 batters – her third consecutive double-digit effort.

West Liberty starter Riley Bennington (0-3) allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits in her two innings of work.

Johnson led off the game with Queens with a home run down the left field line extending her hitting streak to 14 games.  That long ball knotted the score at 1-1, but the Royals (8-4) plated four tallies in the top of the fourth and cruised behind the three-hit pitching of junior right-hander Courtney Pearson (6-1).

FMU freshman righty Janecia Hemingway (4-1) suffered her first collegiate loss in the pitching circle.

Parker added a third hit to her day's total in the loss.   


Francis Marion 10, West Liberty 2 (Feb 24, 2019 at Florence, SC)
West Liberty........  100 001  -  2  5  1      (2-7)
Francis Marion...... 321 202  - 10 12  0      (12-3)
Pitchers: West Liberty - R. Benningto; Anna Paterson(3); Makenzie Ahmed(5) and Kat Donzella.
Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Katelyn Ellard(7-0)  Loss-R. Benningto(0-3)  T-1:45  A-104
HR WLU - Kat Donzella; Katie Beeman.
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson 2; Jessica Harney; Chelsea Welty.
Weather: Cloudy,67,Winds SW @ 13 mph
M. Amend faced 2 batters in the 6th.

Queens (N.C.) 7, Francis Marion 1 (Feb 24, 2019 at Florence, SC)
Queens (N.C.)....... 104 000 2 -  7 10  2      (8-4)
Francis Marion...... 100 000 0 -  1  3  2      (12-4)
Pitchers: Queens (N.C.) - Courtney Pearson and Jordan Hunt. Francis Marion - Janecia Hemingway; Katelyn Ellard (7) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Courtney Pearson (6-1)  Loss-Janecia Hemingway (4-1)  T-1:54  A-79
HR QUSB19 - Jordan Hunt.
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson.
Weather: Broken sky,72,winds W @ 18 mph