ST. DAVIDS, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team needed nine innings to down Eastern by a score of 5-4 on Tuesday afternoon, before cruising to an 11-0 win in game two of its doubleheader. With the non-conference sweep, the Diplomats improved to 16-18 on the season while the Eagles dropped to 10-24.
Down 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Kaitlin Zampino sent a leadoff home run to left field to knot the score at three and force extras. The solo shot was Zampino's team-leading fourth of the year and her first hit on the contest.
The score held until the top of the ninth when Caitlin Brust singled to left field, scoring Sarah Kirk from second and giving F&M a 4-3 lead. Patricia Crigler stepped in the box and lined a double to center, advancing Brust to third. With two outs and runners on second and third, Malorie Sassaman singled in another run to put the Diplomats up by two.
The Eagles singled down the left field line with a runner at third in the bottom of the frame to cut F&M's advantage down to one at 5-4. After a ground out to the second baseman advanced the game-tying run to second, Eastern lined out to Nichole Casey at short to end the contest.
In addition to her game-tying home run, Zampino (7-11) pitched all nine innings for the win, allowing only two earned while striking out four batters.
Her counterpart, Janelle Fair (10-17), was handed the loss for the Eagles after surrendering two earned while fanning nine Diplomats in nine innings of work.
F&M combined for nine hits on the afternoon, led by a 2-for-4 effort at the plate from Crigler. Sam DeNoville also provided a multi-hit performance, collecting a pair of singles in a 2-for-4 showing.
In game two, the Diplomats needed just five innings to take care of Eastern, as F&M combined for 11 hits in the nightcap. The Diplomats got the scoring started in the first when Tori Hytell doubled to right center with one out on the board.
After a wild pitch advanced Hytell to third, DeNoville hit a grounder to short to send her home and put F&M up 1-0.
Amanda Schellaci added to the tally in the next frame, hitting a single to center that scored Brust. After sending two more runs across the plate in the third, the Diplomats broke out for a three-run, three-hit inning in the top of the fourth to take the 7-0 advantage.
Schellaci highlighted the scoring in the frame with a one-out solo homer down the left field line, her first of the season.
With the comfortable seven-run lead in hand, the Diplomats forced the mercy rule with four runs on two hits in the top of the fifth.
Starting pitcher Justine Lohrey (9-7) tossed a gem for F&M, allowing only two hits and striking out five in a shutout performance.
Schellaci led the offense with a 3-for-3 effort, scoring two runs and knocking in three. Hytell hit a pair of doubles in a 3-for-4 showing that included two runs and two RBIs.
The Diplomats return to action on Thursday when F&M travels back home to face off against Notre Dame (Md.). Game one of the non-conference doubleheader is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.