LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team could not figure out one of the Centennial Conference's (CC) top pitchers in game one of a doubleheader as the Diplomats were defeated 3-0, however F&M recovered in game two and earned the split with an 8-7 victory in CC action on Tuesday afternoon at Baker Campus Field. The Diplomats now sit at 13-7, 4-2 CC, while McDaniel is 10-8, 2-2 CC.
In game one, McDaniel's Caroline Brehm (8-6) was stellar on the mound, throwing a complete game while only yielding two hits and striking out 11 batters.
In the top of the first inning, the Green Terror got on the board in the top of the first when Stephanie Maring reached on a fielder's choice that score Rachel Sidney to put McDaniel up 1-0.
Later in game one, Lauren Stricker sent a pitch from Kaitlin Zampino over the fence for a two-run homerun to make it a 3-0 contest. F&M was unable to put up any runs for the game, as the Diplomats fell 3-0.
Caroline Abin and Megan Ryan each knocked a single for the Diplomats, while Zampino (3-5), who pitched seven innings and gave up three runs while striking out two, pitched well but was charged with the loss.
In the nightcap, F&M used an eight-run third inning to down the Green Terror. In the top of the second, McDaniel scored first when Emily Sneeringer doubled to score Sam Stitely and make it a 1-0 contest.
In the eight-run bottom of the third, Alicia Kukoda started the scoring with an RBI-single that scored Ryan to tie the game at 1-1. Abin followed with a single to left field to score Sarah Kirk and give the Diplomats a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Rachel Laufer doubled to empty the bases and put F&M ahead 5-1. After Sam DeNoville singled in Laufer to make it 6-1, Ryan crushed a homerun to left center to increase the lead to 8-1.
McDaniel added a run in the top of the fourth when Lauren Stricker doubled to score Stiteley and cut the deficit to 8-2, however Zampino held the Green Terror in check until the top of the seventh.
In the seventh, with the Diplomats still ahead 8-2, Maring singled to third base to score Laura Mertz and cut the F&M lead to 8-3. After Jaclyn Liebowitz singled to right to plate Stacey Armacost and make it an 8-4 game, Stricker reached on a fielder's choice to score Maring to cut the deficit to 8-5.
With Ryan now in for the save for the Diplomats, Sneeringer hit a blooper to the right side that dropped in and allowed two more runs to score to bring McDaniel within one run at 8-7. But, with two runners on, Ryan was able to record the final out and preserve the win for Zampino and F&M as the Diplomats held on for the 8-7 win.
Ryan led F&M with three hits and two RBI's, while Abin added two hits and one RBI. Zampino came in relief of Justine Lohrey to earn the victory, while Ryan recorded her second save of the season.
The Diplomats are back in action on Thursday when F&M travels to play York (Pa.) for a non-conference doubleheader. Game one is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.