LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall tallied a pair of vital Centennial Conference (CC) victories over Ursinus on a damp Saturday afternoon, winning game one 15-3 in five innings before grabbing a 5-4 win in game two. The Diplomats moved to 14-18, 8-6 CC with the wins, while Ursinus fell out of playoff contention at 13-19, 5-9 CC.
The Bears struck first in game one between two teams battling for playoff position in the conference. Samantha Garritano's double to center put Ursinus up 2-0 with one out in the top of the third, but a smart defensive play from Katie Wenger and a groundout to Taylor Long at shortstop ended the inning with no further damage done.
The F&M offense roared back in the bottom of the third, scoring 15 runs and batting around twice to take a 15-2 lead. Kelly Van O'Linda and Long recorded three RBIs each as both players notched an RBI single and a two-RBI double in the frame. All in all the Diplomats collected 10 hits, five of them doubles, and scored four runs on wild pitches to take a 13-run lead.
The Bears added a run in the top of the fourth, but were unable to further cut the deficit in the fifth, allowing F&M to claim the 15-3 victory via the mercy rule.
The Diplomats did all of their offensive damage in the third. Van O'Linda and Long led the way with three RBIs, while Wenger and Megan Ryan added two each and Christine Miles recorded one. Wenger's three hits were a team high in game one.
Izzy Schaefer (9-10) eased to the win, giving up three runs and six hits in the five-inning effort.
Game two featured significantly more drama as the Diplomats produced a clutch 5-4 win in increasingly rainy conditions.
Lexi Piccinich got F&M on the board in the bottom of the first, singling to left field and driving in Van O'Linda from second.
Wenger, the Diplomat starter for game two, carried that lead through three innings, allowing just one hit in the first three frames. Ursinus broke through in the fourth, scoring twice thanks largely to a pair of F&M errors.
Wenger helped her own cause in the bottom of the fourth, tying the game at 2-2 with a solo home run way over the left field fence. The shot was her fourth of the season, tying her with Long for second in the CC. Still, the Bears returned to the driver's seat in the next half inning, using another F&M error and an RBI single to take a 4-2 lead.
The resurgent Diplomats were again able to bounce back, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth. Crystal Good led off with a two-strike single to left before Erin Russell crushed a double off the fence in left center. Van O'Linda walked to load the bases, and all three runners would eventually come around to score on wild pitches. Van O'Linda used heads-up running to score from second on the second of two important wild pitches.
The 5-4 lead would prove to be all Wenger needed, working around Ursinus runners in the sixth and the seventh to ice the win.
Five different Diplomats recorded hits, with Wenger and Piccinich tallying an RBI each.
Wenger (5-8) finished off the sweep, allowing just three earned on eight hits in seven innings of work.
F&M returns to action on Tuesday, visiting King's College for a nonconference doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.