First-place Bobcats edge Patriots twice

First-place Bobcats edge Patriots twice

MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – Francis Marion University had its chances, but the Patriots came up on the short end of a pair of tight games, losing 8-6 and 2-1 to first-place Georgia College, Saturday afternoon (March 30) in a Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader.

Francis Marion drops to 23-14 overall and 2-6 in the Peach Belt.  The Patriots will play a PBC twin bill at UNC Pembroke on Tuesday at 3 p.m.  FMU's next home games will be Saturday, April 6, at 1 p.m. against Flagler College on Cancer Awareness day.

In Saturday's opener, senior shortstop Taylor Johnson, senior third baseman Angela Buccilli, and sophomore left fielder Karson Parker all had two hits and drove in one run.

Sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard (15-5) was tagged with the loss as she surrendered seven earned runs on 10 hits, while striking out seven.

Georgia College (27-10, 7-1) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.  FMU tied the contest at 1-1 on freshman Addie May's two-out RBI-single to center field in the fourth.  The Bobcats responded with seven unanswered runs to lead 8-1 heading to the seventh and final inning.

Francis Marion had chances to pull closer, loading the bases with one out in the fifth and putting two runners on with one out in the sixth, but both times was unable to score.

In the seventh, the Patriots scored five times thanks in part to five free passes. Four of the runs came across with two outs.  Bases-loaded walks to Jaimie Harney, Parker, and senior pinch hitter Jennie Polak brought FMU to within 8-4.  Taylor followed with an infield run-scoring single and Buccilli singled to left field tightening the score to 8-6 and putting the tying run in scoring position.

Bobcat reliever Rebecca Lawrence came in and got the final out on a come-backer to the mound to earn her second save.  Georgia College starter Kayla Price (6-1) earned the win.

In game two, the Patriots were held hitless through the first six frames.  Despite that fact, FMU twice put a runner in scoring position during that span.

First baseman Haley Howell gave Georgia College a 1-0 advantage in the fourth on an RBI grounder.

Patriot freshman Danielle Karacson led off the seventh with a single to left field ending the no-hit bid of Lawrence (7-5).  Following a ground out that advanced Karacson to second base, May singled up the middle to knot the game at 1-1.  Senior first baseman Jessica Harney then drove a double to left center, but Liberty Schultz – pinch running for May – was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bobcat second baseman Ariel Edenfield hit a one-out, walk-off, solo homer to left field.  That hit ruined a pitching gem by FMU junior right-hander Amie Hutchison (2-4) who allowed only three hits in her 6.1 innings of work.


Georgia College 8, Francis Marion 6 (Mar 30, 2019 at Milledgeville, Ga.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion...... 000 100 5 -  6 10  3      (23-13, 2-5 PBC)
Georgia College..... 001 124 X -  8 10  1      (26-10, 6-1 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty; /. Georgia College - K. Price;
R. Wolverton (5); D. Rubin (7); R. Lawrence (7) and H. Howell.
Win-K. Price (6-1)  Save-R. Lawrence (2)  Loss-Katelyn Ellard (15-5)  T-2:45  A-272
Weather: sunny hi 70s
D. Rubin faced 2 batters in the 7th.
Georgia College 2, Francis Marion 1 (Mar 30, 2019 at Milledgeville, Ga.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion...... 000 000 1 -  1  3  1      (23-14, 2-6 PBC)
Georgia College..... 000 100 1 -  2  3  1      (27-10, 7-1 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Amie Hutchison and Sage Harrison. Georgia College - R. Lawrence and J. Barre.
Win-R. Lawrence (7-5)  Loss-Amie Hutchison (2-4)  T-1:30  A-272
HR GC - A. Edenfield.
Weather: sunny hi 70s