Sassaman Lifts Diplomats Over Elizabethtown

Sassaman Lifts Diplomats Over Elizabethtown

LANCASTER, Pa. – Malorie Sassaman delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh of a back-and-forth game to give the Franklin & Marshall softball team a 3-2 win in non-Centennial Conference (CC) action on Tuesday afternoon. The Diplomats' record now sits at 23-12, while the Blue Jays fell to 12-17.

With the win today, F&M now has 23 wins on the season, breaking the record of 22 that was set back in 2011.

The contest was scoreless until the top of the fifth when Elizabethtown's Breanne Bentz began the inning with a single up the middle. After Kirstin Blass laid down a sacrifice bunt to advanace Bentz to second, Payton Marunich singled to advance Bentz to third. Jessica White then grounded out to advance Marunich to second, and F&M starting pitcher Justine Lohrey was attemping to intentionally walk the next batter, Kaylee Werner, but a wild pitch allowed Bentz to score to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 advantage. 

In the bottom of the frame, Patricia Smith led off the inning with a single to right center. Sarah Kirk then bunted over pinch-runner Kelly Van O'Linda to second. After Elizabethtown's starting pitcher Keli Krause enduced a pop up for the second out, Ashley Hartshorn delivered a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. 

After the Blue Jays were held scoreless in the top of the sixth, Rachel Laufer led off the bottom of the inning by crushing a homerun to left field to put the Diplomats up 2-1, however Krause began the top of the seventh with her own homerun to left field to tie the contest at 2-2. Elizabethtown kept on threatening in the inning, but Lohrey recorded three outs without letting another run score.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Alicia Kukoda knocked a one-out single down the left field line. After Hartshorn drew a walk that advanced Kukoda to second, Malorie Sassaman ripped a single to center field to plate Kukoda and give F&M a 3-2 victory.

Lohrey (11-4) scattered 11 hits in seven innings pitched to earn the victory as she gave up two earned runs and struck out one batter. Hartshorn, Laufer and Sam DeNoville each tallied two hits for the Diplomats.

In game two, Elizabethtown was ahead 9-0 in the fifth inning when the game was called due to lightning in the area. The game will not be made up and it did not meet the criteria to count as an official complete game because F&M was unable to bat in the bottom of the fifth.

F&M returns to action on Thursday when the Diplomats host Eastern in non-CC action with game one of the doubleheader scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. start.