ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's offense came alive for a 2-0 sweep against Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) softball action on Thursday afternoon. F&M took the first game with an 8-0 shutout before taking the second game by a 4-1 score.
The Diplomats improved to 14-16, 6-6 CC while the Mules dropped to 18-18, 3-11 CC.
Game 1: F&M 8, MUHL 0 – 7 Innings
It was a defensive battle to start the game with neither team advancing a runner past second before the fifth inning. F&M threatened in the top of the fifth when Ella Glenn doubled down the left field line. Pinch-runner Gabby Goodwin advanced to third on the ground out from Taylor Hudson but was caught stealing at home on the next play.
The Diplomats' bats got hot in the seventh, recording all eight runs off seven hits and one error. Abi Buell led off with a double to left field. Lexi Piccinich followed, reaching second on an error from the center fielder that also send Buell home. Hannah Salvucci singled to left center to get runners on the corners, while Caitlyn Erdman notched the RBI-single to increase the deficit to two.
Glenn singled to load the bases while Hudson drew a walk and Shannon Briggs was hit by a pitch to send two more runners home. The Mules followed with two plays home to get two outs on the board, but Buell recorded her second double of the inning, sending three runners across the plate to increase the lead to 7-0. Salvucci hit a single to centerfield to tack on the final run of the game.
The Diplomats defense came up with two quick outs in the seventh after a strikeout from Sabrina Ryan and a fly ball to Jamie Belfer. Muhlenberg threatened, loading the bases, but Piccinich threw the final out home to end the game.
Buell led the offense to an 11-4 edge in hits, going 3-for-4 from the plate while Salvucci, Erdman, and Glenn all recorded multiple hits.
Ryan (8-8) earned her third complete game shutout of the season, giving up four hits and recording five strikeouts. Muhlenberg's Sophie Chong (6-9) registered the loss, throwing for seven innings with 10 hits and three earned runs.
Game 2: F&M 4, MUHL 1 – 7 Innings
Muhlenberg was the first to strike in the second game. The Mules got a runner on base after a walk with a double to right field sending a runner home to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
F&M responded in the fourth after Sam Martin led off with a double to right field. With two outs on the board, Salvucci reached on an error from at second base that also sent Martin home to tie the game.
The Diplomats took the lead for good in the fifth. Megan Giesecke got on base after a single to third base while Martin tallied the RBI-single to take the 2-1 advantage.
F&M tacked on two more runs in the seventh off three hits and one error. Christine Miles got the offense started with a single to left center. With two outs and runners on first and second, Buell notched the RBI-single to right field. Piccinich followed with an RBI-single up the middle to send the last runner home.
The Diplomats' defense came up with the three quick outs to secure the sweep.
Martin and Buell each recorded two hits.
Ryan (9-8) earned her second win of the day, going for seven innings with five strikeouts. Muhlenberg's (10-8) took the loss, tossing for seven innings with five strikeouts.
The Diplomats return to Lancaster on Tuesday, April 23, hosting Gettysburg for a doubleheader at 3:00 p.m.