RECAP | Softball Splits Home-Opening Twin Bill with Kalamazoo

Photo courtesy of Renee Knight
Photo courtesy of Renee Knight

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team stepped on the turf at Behrens Field for the first time in 2018 on Saturday (Mar. 10) afternoon, taking on Kalamazoo College.

The Grizzlies (9-1) stretched their winning streak to nine games with an 8-0 win over the Hornets (3-1) in game one. Franklin jumped out to an early lead in game two, but Kalamazoo rallied to take the second game, 10-9, ending the Grizzlies' unbeaten campaign.

Senior Alexis Tarver finished the day with three hits and three runs batted in while Natalie Weber had a team-high four hits on the day and drove in a pair of runs for Franklin. 

Game One: Franklin 8 – Kalamazoo 0 (5 inn.)
In their first trip to the plate, the Grizzlies took the lead for good just two batters in when Justice Carmichael ripped a triple into the right center field gap, scoring Monica Collins. Carmichael would score two batters later on an RBI single from Shelby Mager to double the Franklin lead.

Later in the inning, Franklin would double their lead on a Grace Paszek sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout from Morgan Burch to make it 4-0 after an inning of play.

The Grizzlies put the game out of reach in their half of the second inning with a two-out rally that plated four more Franklin runs. Weber made it 5-0 with an RBI single that plated Carmichael and an error on the same play allowed Tarver to cross the plate and tack on another run. Mager would come in to score on a wild pitch before Grace Paszek made it 8-0 with a run-scoring infield single.

That proved to be more than enough support for Franklin starter Olivia Paszek (5-0), who dominated Hornet hitters on her way to her first shutout of the year. Paszek needed just 61 pitches to get through five innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine batters along the way. 

Game Two: Kalamazoo 10 – Franklin 9
The Hornets grabbed their first lead of the day with two runs in the second, but the Grizzlies would erase the early deficit with a five-run second inning. Monica Collins evened things up with a two-run single and advanced to third on an error that allowed Lexi Gaffney to score and make it 3-2 Grizzlies.

Collins scored one batter later on an RBI single from Carmichael and Weber would bring Carmichael home later in the inning on her second run-scoring single of the day to make it a 5-2 game.

One inning later with the bases loaded and two outs, Tarver stretched the lead with a bases-clearing double that put the Grizzlies up 8-2.

But the Hornets would chip away at the lead with three runs in the fourth before drawing even with three more runs in the eighth. Franklin would re-claim the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Emily Thompson came in to score after a throwing error to make it 9-8 Grizzlies.

Kalamazoo would answer with a run in the sixth to even things up, but Franklin would load the bases with no outs in their half of the sixth. However, the Grizzlies were unable to bring the go-ahead run across. The Hornets would re-take the lead with a run in the seventh in what proved to be the decisive tally.

Danielle Wyse made her second start of the year, scattering four hits and allowing three earned runs over three innings of work. Kayla Selzer (4-1) took over in the fourth, allowing five earned runs and striking out four in 3 1/3 innings of work.

Franklin looks to start a new winning streak on Friday, Mar. 16, when they welcome Capital University to Behrens Field for a weekend double-header. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.