KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Franklin & Marshall finished out spring break action in Kissimmee, Fla. on Thursday afternoon, defeating Utica 4-1 before losing 2-1 to Cortland St. The split moved the Diplomat record to 8-4 on the year, including a 4-2 mark in Kissimmee.
The first game of the day, a 1:30 p.m. matchup with Utica, began slowly as F&M pitcher Katie Wenger threw five scoreless innings to keep the score 0-0 heading into the sixth. The Pioneers finally broke through in the top of the sixth, scoring the game's first run on a bloop single to center.
Wenger gave herself some run support in the bottom of the sixth, launching an RBI triple to tie the game at 1-1. However, the big blow came later in the inning when Kelly Van O'Linda ripped an inside-the-park home run to right field, pushing the F&M lead to 4-1 after six.
Wenger shut down Utica in the top of the seventh, giving the Diplomats the victory and improving her record to 4-1 on the season.
F&M did not have to wait for offense in the second matchup of the day against Cortland St. In the first inning, Melissa Bollmeyer earned a leadoff walk, and advanced all the way to third on Erin Russell's sacrifice bunt. Samantha Clemens' sacrifice fly drove Bollmeyer in, and the Diplomats went into the bottom of the first up 1-0.
The Red Dragons answered right back, scoring one run on F&M starter Isabel Schaefer to tie the game.
Both pitchers settled down, and neither team scored again until the bottom of the sixth, when Cortland St. pushed a run across courtesy of a sacrifice fly. Schaefer held the Red Dragons to just one in the frame, but the damage was already done, as the Diplomats were unable to score in the away half of the seventh, losing 2-1.
Schaefer (2-3) was unfortunate to get saddled with the loss after giving up just two runs on five hits.
Bollmeyer, Russell, Wenger, and Karly Newcomb all logged hits in the effort.
F&M will next take the diamond on Tuesday, visiting Lancaster Bible for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.