Freshmen help Patriots to split with PBC-leading Cougars

Freshmen help Patriots to split with PBC-leading Cougars

COLUMBUS, GA – Freshman right fielder Danielle Karacson had a school-record tying five hits and freshman Addie May blasted a pinch-hit grand slam home run to power Francis Marion University to a 12-9 win over conference-leading Columbus State University and a split of Saturday afternoon's (April 13) Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader.  The Cougars held off a late Patriot rally to claim a 5-4 victory in the opener.

With the game-two win, Francis Marion improves to 28-17 overall and 7-9 in the PBC, which places the Patriots in seventh place.  FMU will play a conference doubleheader at UNC Pembroke (currently eighth in the standings) on Tuesday at 3 p.m.  The Patriots will then conclude their regular-season schedule with a Senior Day twin bill on April 20 at 1 p.m. against Lander University.

In the second contest, Francis Marion rallied from a 4-2 deficit after three innings.  An RBI-grounder by senior catcher Chelsea Welty and a run-scoring single by Karacson knotted the score at 4-4 in the fourth.  In a high-scoring sixth inning, FMU tallied seven runs to open an 11-4 advantage.  Senior shortstop Taylor Johnson homered with one out, senior designated player Jaimie Harney doubled home two runs with two outs, and May hit her two-out grand slam over the left centerfield fence.

CSU (29-13, 9-3) answered with five runs in their half of the sixth frame to draw within 11-9.  However, a sacrifice fly by Harney added an insurance tally in the seventh, and sophomore right-hander Katelyn Ellard struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to record her second save in as many days.

FMU junior righty Amie Hutchison (6-4) picked up her fifth win in her last six starts.

Karacson finished 5-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, and two driven in.  Six Patriots had previously recorded five hits in a game, most recently by outfielder Briana Barzola in a 2017 game at Tusculum University.  Both Harney and Johnson rapped out two hits in the second contest.

CSU reliever Hannah Rose Corbin (9-5) was tagged with the loss as she surrendered seven runs (only one was earned) on four hits in 2.2 innings.  Cougar first baseman Elizabeth Perdue went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers and five runs batted in.

In the Saturday's opener, senior first baseman Jessica Harney drilled a solo home run to left to lead off the second inning.  Columbus State responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to go on top 2-1.  A solo shot by Johnson to lead off the third inning knotted the score at 2-2.

CSU left fielder Elyse Ambrose clouted a three-run homer to center staking the Cougars to a 5-2 advantage in the fifth.  The Patriots plated one run in the sixth, on an RBI infield single by senior second baseman Jennie Polak, but FMU left two runners on that inning.

In the seventh, Welty reached on a two-out error and Karacson doubled home pinch runner Liberty Schultz to draw the Patriots within 5-4.  However, Darby Demarest (14-4) retired the next batter to end the FMU threat.

Ellard (16-8) took the loss as she allowed the five runs on seven hits in six innings of work. 


Columbus State 5, Francis Marion 4 (Apr 13, 2019 at Columbus, Ga.) (Game 1)
Francis Marion......   011 001 1 -  4  6  0      (27-17, 6-9 PBC)
Columbus State...... 020 030 X -  5  7  1      (29-12, 9-2 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Katelyn Ellard and Chelsea Welty. Columbus State - Demarest and
Win-Demarest (14-4)  Loss-Katelyn Ellard (16-8)  T-2:15
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson (8); Jessica Harney (9).
HR CSU - Ambrose (6); Poston (2).
Weather: 70 degrees, partly cloudy

Francis Marion 12, Columbus State 9 (Apr 13, 2019 at Columbus, Ga.) (Game 2)
Francis Marion......  101 207 1 - 12 12  2      (28-17, 7-9 PBC)
Columbus State...... 202 005 0 -  9  8  4      (29-13, 9-3 PBC)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Amie Hutchison; Katelyn Ellard(6) and Chelsea Welty.
Columbus State - Sorrells; Corbin(4); Dawson(6); Demarest(7) and Dodson.
Win-Amie Hutchison(6-4)  Save-Katelyn Ellard(2)  Loss-Corbin(9-5)  T-2:35  A-313
HR FMU_SB - Taylor Johnson (10); Addie May (2).
HR CSU - Perdue 2 (10).
Weather: 84 degrees, cloudy