FMU Softball splits a pair of 2-1 decisions in PBC play

FMU Softball splits a pair of 2-1 decisions in PBC play

FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore Katelyn Ellard tossed a six-hitter and senior third baseman Angela Buccilli scored twice from her lead-off spot to lead Francis Marion University to a 2-1 win over Young Harris College, Sunday afternoon (March 17) in the opening game of a Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader.  The Patriots left the tying run on third base in each of the final two innings en route to a 2-1 loss to the Mountain Lions in game two.

Francis Marion (17-10, 1-3) will play host to Belmont Abbey College for a non-conference twinbill on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Ellard (11-4) stuck out five in the opener and did not issue a walk.

Buccilli led off the Patriot first inning by being hit by a pitch.  Two outs later, she scored the opening run on a run-scoring single to right by senior first baseman Jessica Harney – her team-leading 26th RBI.

A one-out single by Buccilli in the fifth led to a 2-0 FMU advantage.  She moved to second when senior shortstop Jaimie Harney was hit by a pitch, took third on a passed ball, and scampered home on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Chelsea Welty.  Buccilli was 2-for-2 at the plate, the only Patriot with multiple hits in game one.

That run proved crucial as the Mountain Lions scored once in their next at bat as catcher Jill Torres singled home Kristan Lizardi.  Ellard stranded two Young Harris baserunners in each of the last two innings.

Young Harris left-hander Louisa Disi (3-2) was charged with the loss despite allowing only five singles in 5.2 innings of work.

Mountain Lion starter Nikkie Kovalsky (13-7) and Disi (first save) limited FMU to only three hits in game two.

Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Francis Marion loaded the bases with no outs.  However, the Patriots could only push across one run, that on a bases-loaded walk to freshman right fielder Danielle Karacson.  FMU would leave the bases full in that frame and also would get the tying run to third base in the seventh before the rally was extinguished.

The Harney twins and freshman designated player Addie May accounted for the three FMU hits in game two.  Freshman right-hander Janecia Hemingway (5-3) suffered the loss despite only surrendering one unearned run on five hits in 4.1 innings of work.


Post-game comments from FMU head coach Stacey Vallee

Francis Marion 2, Young Harris 1 (Mar 17, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Young Harris........  000 001 0 -  1  6  0      (16-9, 2-1 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 100 010 X -  2  5  2      (17-9, 1-2 PBC)
Pitchers: Young Harris - Louisa Disi; Nikkie Kovalsky (6) and Jill Torres. Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Katelyn Ellard (11-4)  Loss-Louisa Disi (3-2)  T-2:00  A-59
Weather: Mostly cloudy,53,Winds NNE @ 1

Young Harris 2, Francis Marion 1 (Mar 17, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Young Harris........ 000 101 0 -  2 11  3      (17-9, 3-1 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 000 001 0 -  1  3  1      (17-10, 1-3 PBC)
Pitchers: Young Harris - Nikkie Kovalsky; Louisa Disi(6) and Jill Torres. Francis Marion -
Janecia Hemingway; Katelyn Ellard(5) and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Nikkie Kovalsky(13-7)  Save-Louisa Disi(1)  Loss-Janecia Hemingway(5-3)  T-2:46
Weather: Mostly sunny,60,Winds N @ 7 mph
Kovalsky faced 3 batters in the 6th.