CHESTERTOWN, Md. - Franklin & Marshall softball established its most productive seasons in terms of wins in five years on the strength of a Sunday sweep of Washington College. The Diplomats won the first game 10-6, and followed up with a 9-5 victory in the Centennial Conference (CC) opener for both teams.
With the sweep, the Diplomats (11-5, 2-0 CC) have hit double-digits in the wins column for the second time in as many seasons under the direction of head coach, Mike Cooperstein. The second time around comes before the season's midpoint. The ten win mark that had not been reached in any of the three seasons prior to his arrival.
A four-run sixth was the difference in the first game. Barbara Sasso led off the top of the inning with a double into left-centerfield and was brought to the plate by Caitlin Elfring's single back through the box. Diplomats' twirler, Meredith Morgan, aided he own cause with a two RBI double into the right-center gap. That was her second of the day.
Morgan accomplished the same feat in the second inning, putting F&M up 6-0 through an inning-and-a-half of softball. The Diplomats put up three runs in each of the first two innings.
Washington chipped away from there. Gabby Devaud smacked a solo shot to get the Shorewomen on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. A leadoff walk and a two-out rally gave Washington two runs on as many hits in the third. A Jordan Tryhubenko two out single into center conspired with an error to tie the game in the fourth, 6-6. That came after Devaud, who had reached on an error, scored on an Becca Nicely double.
The defense tightened and Morgan was flawless from there, moving to 3-1 on the season. She worked her third complete game of the season, surrendering six runs, three earned, on six hits. Morgan struck out seven while issuing a pair of walks.
The Diplomat picked up the decision in the second game as well. The nightcap nearly slipped away from the F&M as the hosts rallied to take a 5-4 lead with a four-run sixth. F&M starter, Sarah Damato pieced together a brilliant outing until that inning. A Devaud double drove in two to do the bulk of the damage and chase Damato. With runners on board, and one out, Morgan endured an error and worked out of the jam without allowing another runner to cross home.
Leading off the last chance Diplomats, Sasso knotted the game up with a single swing of the bat that conquered the right-center fence. It was the first of two F&M long balls in the inning. Lauren Incorvaia teed off on a three-run blast before the inning was out. She was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four driven in. Morgan once again aided her own cause with an RBI.
The Diplomats return to action on Tuesday at Penn State-Berks.