Doubles carry Patriots to 4-2 win over Catawba

Doubles carry Patriots to 4-2 win over Catawba

FLORENCE, SC – A trio of run-scoring doubles in the bottom of the fourth inning backed the four-hit pitching of sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard as Francis Marion University defeated Catawba College 4-2, Friday evening (March 8) in game one of non-conference softball doubleheader.  Game two was cancelled due to rain with FMU holding a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

Francis Marion, winners of 12 of 13 home contests this year, ups its season record to 15-6.  The Patriots will play a doubleheader at Lenoir-Rhyne University on Sunday at 2 p.m.  FMU will then open Peach Belt Conference play at home on March 16 with a 1 p.m. twinbill against the University of North Georgia.

In Friday's opener, senior second baseman Jennie Polak and freshman designated player Janecia Hemingway both collected two hits to lead FMU at the plate.

Catawba took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on second baseman Taylor Martin's sacrifice fly.

Francis Marion countered with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth.  Hemingway and Polak singled before freshman pinch-hitter Addie May doubled to right center to plate two runs. Following a strikeout, senior shortstop Angela Buccilli and senior third baseman Jaimie Harney cranked back-to-back RBI doubles as FMU rallied to take a 4-1 lead.

Catawba scored once in the seventh before Ellard (10-2) finished her complete-game effort.  The sophomore right-hander struck out a career-high 13 batters while walking only one.

Catawba righty Preston Ellenberg (4-2) was charged with the loss as she allowed all four runs.


Post-game comments from FMU head coach Stacey Vallee

Francis Marion 4, Catawba 2 (Mar 8, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Catawba.............    001 000 1 -  2  4  1      (9-6)
Francis Marion......   000 400 X -  4  9  1      (15-6)
Pitchers: Catawba - Preston Ellenberg; Madison Hunter (4) and Maddie Bell; Gracie Gibson.
Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Katelyn Ellard (10-2)  Loss-Preston Ellenberg (4-2)  T-2:03  A-78
Weather: Overcast,63,Winds S @ 7 mph