ASHLAND, Va. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team opened up its 2014 season on Sunday afternoon against Randolph-Macon in non-conference action, falling 10-1 (five innings) in game one of the doubleheader, followed by a 9-1 (five innings) loss in the nightcap. The Diplomats' record dropped to 0-2, while the Yellow Jackets improved to 5-1.
In game one, Randolph Macon struck first in the bottom of the second with a two-run double to take a 2-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets made the score 3-0 when a runner reached base on an error, which allowed a run to score and give Randolph-Macon a 3-0 advantage.
Down 6-0 in the top of the fifth, F&M got on the board when a Malorie Sassaman groundout scored Kelly Van O'Linda to cut the deficit to 6-1. But, the Yellow Jackets scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-1 lead and put the game out of reach.
Ashley Hartshorn recorded the lone hit for the Diplomats, while Taylor Balmaz notched three hits for Randolph-Macon.
Kaitlin Zampino (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up eight runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings of play. Jenna Best (4-1) earned the victory for the Yellow Jackets, pitching a complete game with two strikeouts.
In game two, Randolph-Macon scored early again, as Best singled in the bottom of the second to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead. After a walk with the bases loaded made the score 2-0, a Christa Simon triple to left field cleared the bases and gave Randolph-Macon a 5-0 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Sassaman reached on an error to score Van O'Linda to cut the lead to 7-1, but it was not enough as Randolph-Macon extended the lead in the bottom of the fifth and went on to win 9-1.
Megan Ryan (0-1) took the loss for the Diplomats, throwing four innings and giving up six runs on six hits. Kelsey McLaughlin (3-0) earned the win for Randolph-Macon with four innings pitched and four strikeouts.
F&M returns to action next Sunday when the Diplomats battle Kenyon at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. at 1:00 p.m.