LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team struggled to find its offense while Dickinson played stellar defense in both contests on Saturday afternoon as the Diplomats dropped a 4-2 game before the Red Devils edged out F&M 1-0 in game two in Centennial Conference (CC) action. The Diplomats now sit at 22-12, 8-6 CC, while Dickinson's record improved to 10-20, 6-10 CC.
In game one, Sassaman continued to add to her historic season with a triple to right center that plated Caroline Abin to give the Diplomats a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Zampino singled to right field to score Sassaman and extend the lead to 2-0. However, that is all Dickinson's Chelsea Homa would allow for the rest of the game as Homa held the potent F&M lineup in check for the final six innings.
With the Diplomats ahead 2-1 going into the top of the fifth, the Red Devils' Katie Swade knocked a single to left field to score Becca Garlinger and tie the contest at 2-2. In the bottom of the frame, Sassaman was up with two on and two out and hit a hard ground ball to Michelle Orden at second base. The ball popped up and hit Orden in the face, however she recovered to make a fine play and end the threat. In the top of the sixth, Garlinger smacked a single to center, plating Nicole Piet to put Dickinson ahead 3-2.
Later in the inning, Jay Abell singled up the middle to score pinch-runner Nicole Torlincasi and add an insurance run for the Red Devils. But in the bottom of the sixth, F&M threatened again as the Diplomats had two runners on and two outs with Patricia Crigler at bat. Crigler looped a ball between the shortstop and left field, however the shortstop Casey Ditzler made a diving catch to preserve Dickinson's 4-2 lead. Homa kept the Diplomats off the scoreboard in the last inning as the Red Devils went on to win 4-2.
Abin led F&M with a 3-for-4 game at the plate, while Zampino (6-6) was strong inside the circle, but was charged with the loss as she pitched a complete game and gave up two earned runs while striking out three.
Homa (9-9) also threw all seven innings, giving up two earned runs while striking out four, while Garlinger was 3-for-3 with two RBI's for Dickinson.
In game two, the Diplomats' Justine Lohrey and Dickinson's Homa were dueling it out on the mound as both pitchers put together strong performances for their respective teams.
In the bottom of the third, F&M had a good chance to score as DeNoville started off the inning with a single down the left field line. After Homa recorded two outs in a row, Brust singled to put runners on second and third before Kukoda was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Homa was able to pitch out the jam to keep the game locked at 0-0.
Dickinson got the lone run of the contest in the top of the seventh when Nicole Piet hit a one-out single up the middle before Megan O'Neill hit a single to second base. Garlinger then reached on an error allowing Piet to score and give the Red Devils a 1-0 advantage. Megan Ryan led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to the fence, but the Diplomats were unable to bring her around as Homa worked around the leadoff double to give Dickinson the 1-0 victory.
Sassaman finished 3-for-3 from the plate in game two for F&M, putting her just 10 hits away from the season record of 57. Lohrey (10-4) threw seven innings and did not give up any earned runs.
Homa pitched well again, going seven innings while scattering eight hits with six strikeouts for the Red Devils.
The Diplomats return to action on Tuesday when F&M hosts Elizabethtown for a non-Conference doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.