LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall hosted Haverford on Sunday afternoon for an important pair of doubleheaders between two teams carrying 0-2 records in the Centennial Conference, but the Diplomats pulled through with two wins, 8-7 and 9-1. F&M is now 4-12, 2-2 CC on the year, while the Fords fell to 4-12, 0-4.
Haverford took the early lead in game one as the second batter of the contest, Julia Blake, homered to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The advantage did not last long as the Diplomats tallied four runs in the bottom of the first to kick off their two best offensive performances of the season. Crystal Good recorded a double with a laser down the left field line, and was knocked in by Taylor Long's single in the following at-bat. Long also scored just moments later, courtesy of Lexi Piccinich's double to right. However, it was Megan Ryan that recorded the big blow, sending a two-run homer to left field to give F&M a 4-2 edge.
The Fords cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the second, but the Diplomat advantage returned to two in the bottom of the fourth. Another Piccinich double scored Long, giving the hosts a 5-3 lead.
Haverford wasn't done, scoring once in the top of the fifth and three times in the sixth to retake the lead, 7-6. Still, the F&M offense continued its clutch play as great base running from Kelly Van O'Linda coupled with a sacrifice fly by Long and yet another RBI from Piccinich to return the lead to the Diplomats, 8-7, after six innings.
Piccinich went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs to pace the Diplomat offense. Ryan also tallied three RBIs on a 2-for-3 day, while Long finished with two hits and two runs.
Schaefer took the win for F&M, giving up three earned and striking out three in more than two innings of work. Wenger did not get a decision after allowing three earned in just over four innings.
The second game featured all of the offensive fireworks for F&M, if not the same drama as the previous tilt. Another first-inning home run, this time a line shot off the bat of Long, scored Erin Russell and gave the Diplomats a 2-0 lead after one.
Haverford's lone run came in the top of the third, but was soon overshadowed by a four-spot from F&M in the bottom of the frame. Russell recorded an RBI double to get the inning started before Piccinich continued her big day with a three-run blast, blowing the score open at 6-1.
Excellent work on the base paths by Ryan Correa added another run for the Diplomats in the fourth, making the score 7-1. As a result, Ryan's two run single in the fifth increased the deficit to 9-1, giving F&M the five-inning victory via the mercy rule.
Long went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to pace F&M in the back half of the doubleheader, while Piccinich went 2-for-3 with another trio of RBIs. Ryan again tallied two RBIs on a 2-for-3 performance, and Russell knocked in one and went 2-for-2 at the top of the order.
Schaefer (3-6) added her second win of the day, striking out four and allowing zero earned runs over five innings pitched.
The Diplomats continue CC action on Tuesday, visiting Dickinson for games at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.