Patriots double down on 4-3 wins over Jaguars

Patriots double down on 4-3 wins over Jaguars

FLORENCE, SC – Senior shortstop Taylor Johnson delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning to provide Francis Marion University with a game-one 4-3 win over Augusta University en route to a doubleheader sweep of the Jaguars, Wednesday (April 10) in Peach Belt Conference softball action.

FMU improves to 26-15 overall and 5-7 in the Peach Belt, while securing their first home sweep of Augusta since 2014.  The Jaguars fall to 6-30 and 1-13.

Francis Marion will play a PBC twin bill at Georgia Southwestern State University on Friday at 1 p.m.  The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was moved up 48 hours due to the threat of rain.  The Patriots' next home appearance will be Senior Day on April 20 against Lander University.

In game one on Wednesday, the score was knotted at 3-3 entering the bottom of the seventh.  The Patriots loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk.  With one out, Johnson lifted a long fly ball to right field, and senior second baseman Jaimie Harney easily scampered home ahead of the throw with the winning tally.  In FMU's last outing on Saturday, Johnson delivered a walk-off bases-loaded walk to defeat Flagler 3-2.

Harney and sophomore center fielder Karson Parker both finished Wednesday's opener with two hits.  Sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard (16-6) picked up the complete-game win as she scattered eight hits and struck out five.

FMU took a 3-0 with a trio of runs in the last of the second inning.  Parker accounted for the initial run with an RBI single to left field and sophomore left fielder Taylor DeLeon followed with a two-run single just inside the leftfield line.

Augusta responded with three runs in the top of the fifth.  The second and third runs came across on a two-run triple to right field by second baseman Lauren Prescott.

Junior righty Morgan Hunter (3-15) was the losing pitcher despite going the distance.

In the second contest, eight of the nine Patriot starters registered a base hit. Senior first baseman Jessica Harney led the way with three hits, including two doubles, and an RBI.  Senior second baseman Jennie Polak had a pair of hits and drove in the eventual game-winning run.

FMU junior right-hander Amie Hutchison (4-4) allowed four hits and one earned run as she picked up her third complete-game win in her last four appearances. 

The game featured a wild first inning that saw Augusta score three times and Francis Marion four, but then Hutchison and Jaguar righty Katy Caldwell matched zeros for the remainder of the game.  Hutchison retired 20 of the final 23 batters she faced.

Augusta junior Courtney Browne (1-4) started and was charged with the loss, although only one of the four runs she surrendered was earned.

Prescott delivered an RBI single and Augusta scored twice on a Patriot throwing error in the first frame.  In the home half, Jessica Harney stroked a two-out RBI double to left center and twin sister Jaimie Harney laced a two-run double to the same spot.  Polak then drove in what would be the winning run with a single, again to the same spot in left center.


Post-game comments from FMU head coach Stacey Vallee


Francis Marion 4, Augusta 3 (Apr 10, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 1)
Augusta.............     000 030 0 -  3  8  1      (6-29, 1-12 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 030 000 1 -  4  6  1      (25-15, 4-7 PBC)
Pitchers: Augusta - Morgan Hunter and Megan McCook. Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and
Chelsea Welty.
Win-Katelyn Ellard (16-6)  Loss-Morgan Hunter (3-15)  T-1:46  A-67
Weather: Sunny,80,Winds NNW @ 8 mph
Francis Marion 4, Augusta 3 (Apr 10, 2019 at Florence, SC) (Game 2)
Augusta.............    300 000 0 -  3  4  1      (6-30, 1-13 PBC)
Francis Marion...... 400 000 X -  4 11  2      (26-15, 5-7 PBC)
Pitchers: Augusta - Courtney Browne; Katy Caldwell (1) and Megan McCook. Francis Marion -
Amie Hutchison and Chelsea Welty.
Win-Amie Hutchison (4-4)  Loss-Courtney Browne (1-4)  T-1:48
Weather: Clear,79,Winds ESE @ 6 mph