FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team looked to start a new winning streak on Friday (Mar. 16) afternoon with two games against the Capital Crusaders at Behrens Field.
The Grizzly (11-1) bats came ready to rock on Friday, as Franklin pounded out 30 hits on their way to a pair of convincing wins over the Crusaders (2-8). In game one, the FC offense recorded 13 hits in an 8-0 five-inning win. Game two saw the Crusaders jump out to an early lead, but Franklin overwhelmed their guests on the way to an 11-4 victory.
Junior Shelby Mager reached base in all seven trips to the plate on the day, going 5-for-5 with five runs scored, three RBI and a pair of walks. Freshman Natalie Weber drove in five runs and Grace Paszek finished with four hits during the sweep.
Game One: Franklin 8 – Capital 0 (5 inn.)
After a shut down inning from Olivia Paszek in the top of the first, the Franklin offense went right to work in their first at-bat of the day. The first two Grizzlies would reach base and with runners in scoring position and one out, Shelby Mager got Franklin on the board with an RBI single that brought Monica Collins home. One batter later, Natalie Weber made it a 2-0 game with a sacrifice fly, scoring Justice Carmichael.
The Grizzlies would hang another crooked number on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Mager and Weber collected their second RBIs of the day in the frame and Carmichael would score from third on an obstruction call to put Franklin up 5-0 heading into the fourth.
After two more dominant frames from Paszek, the Grizzlies would close the book on the opener with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Weber doubled home Mager for her third RBI of the game and came in to score one batter later on an RBI single from Grace Paszek. Two batters later, Lauren Huebler would drive in the game-ending run, scoring Paszek from third on a run-scoring single.
Olivia Paszek cruised to her second straight shutout, scattering three hits and striking out three on just 49 pitches to improve to 6-0 on the year.
Game Two: Franklin 11 – Capital 4
The Grizzlies fell into an early 3-0 hole, but the FC offense picked up starter Kayla Selzer with a big first inning of their own. Weber got the Grizzlies on the board with a sacrifice fly and Carmichael followed with an RBI double to cut the lead to a run.
Franklin would tie the game one batter later when Alexis Tarver came in to score on a Capital error. Carmichael scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, two pitches before Taylor Bounin singled home a run. Mager capped the first inning with a bases loaded walk that scored Bounin and made it a 6-3 game.
The Crusaders cut the lead to two with a run in the third, but Franklin would put the game out of reach with a three-run fourth inning. Weber collected another RBI with her second sac fly of the game and two batters later, Grace Paszek dealt the Crusaders a critical blow with a two-run triple that made it a 9-4 game.
Tarver added to the lead with an RBI double in the fifth and Haley Taylor capped the scoring with her first career hit and RBI in the bottom of the sixth.
Selzer (5-1) shook off the three-run first with six sparkling frames to close out the game. The sophomore scattered six hits and allowed three earned runs with one walk and six strikeouts in her first complete game of the year.
The Grizzlies will have 11 days off before their next contest. Franklin will hit the road to take on North Central College on Tuesday, Mar. 27 with a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.