ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall used a pair of five-run innings, one in the first game and another in the second, to record victories of 7-1 and 6-2 over Elizabethtown in nonconference softball on Thursday night. The Diplomats improved to 9-15 with the sweep, while the Blue Jays fell to 4-22.
A leadoff single and an error allowed Elizabethtown to score an unearned run on F&M starter Katie Wenger in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. However, Wenger was lights-out the rest of the way, shutting out the Blue Jays and allowing just three hits in the next six frames.
The Diplomat offense sprang to life in the top of the fourth, beginning with Megan Ryan's one-out, two-RBI single up the middle that scored Lexi Piccinich and Taylor Long. Ryan then came around to score with two outs when Ryan Correa doubled down the right field line, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead. Kelly Van O'Linda followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Correa, and eventually crossed the plate on Erin Russell's single up the middle to make the score 5-1 in favor of F&M.
The lead grew 7-1 in the seventh as Long and Wenger both recorded RBI singles.
Russell, Long, and Piccinich all recorded a pair of hits to lead the Diplomat offense, while Ryan's two RBIs were also a team high.
Wenger (3-7) earned the win for F&M, giving up zero earned runs, one walk, and four hits in seven innings.
Elizabethtown was first on the board again in game two, stringing together five hits and scoring two runs on Izzy Schaefer in the bottom of the third. Schaefer kept the score at 2-0 by working out of a bases-loaded jam, and like Wenger did not allow a run for the remainder of the game.
The Diplomat offense exploded again in the top of the sixth after recording just three hits in the previous five frames. Piccinich got the scoring started with a three-run bomb to left field, scoring Crystal Good and Long. The homer was the fifth of the season for the freshman slugger, putting her alone at the top of the Centennial Conference (CC) and moving her within one of the F&M single-season record for a freshman.
The Diplomat offense continued to produce in the inning as Ryan picked up another RBI with a double to bring around Wenger. Correa's single through the left side plated Ryan with two outs, completing F&M's second five spot of the day.
Good added some insurance in the top of the seventh, singling up the middle to score Van O'Linda after her leadoff double, bringing the score to its final count of 6-2.
The win went to Schaefer (6-8), giving up two earned and striking out five in the complete-game effort.
Long, Piccinich, and Ryan all added two hits apiece in the nightcap, with Piccinich's three RBIs leading the way.
The Diplomats return to CC action on Saturday, visiting Swarthmore for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.