FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College softball team jumped back into action on Sunday (Mar. 17) afternoon, taking on Alma College in their second double-header in as many days.
In a pair of tightly-contested contests, the Grizzlies (3-5) and Scots (7-5) ended up splitting their twin bill at Behrens Field. A late home run propelled Alma to a 4-3 game one win while Franklin would use some late-inning heroics of their own to take game two, 9-7.
Game One: Alma 4 – Franklin 3
Both sides would leave multiple runners on base in the first two innings before Franklin would break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. With one out in the inning, an Alma error would allow Monica Collins to score from second base, giving Franklin an early lead.
The Grizzlies would keep the Scots off the board until the top of the fifth, when Alma broke through with three runs in the frame to take their first lead of the day. The Scots would threaten again in the sixth, putting runners in scoring position before ultimately coming up empty.
Running low on outs to play with, the Grizzlies turned to their bench with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. Pinch hitter Abby Hickson would deliver with a single that glanced off the shortstop's glove, allowing Emily Thompson and Justice Carmichael to score and tie the game. But the Scots re-claimed the lead with a solo home run in the top of the seventh, which ended up being the game's deciding run.
Game Two: Franklin 9 – Alma 7
Just as they did in the opener, the Grizzlies jumped on board first with two runs in their first trip to the plate. Natalie Weber ripped a one-out double that scored Collins from second and she came in to score later in the inning on a Logsdon RBI single.
Alma plated their first run of the game in the second, but Franklin would get that run back in the third when Weber singled home Shelby Mager to make it a 3-1 game. Franklin padded their lead with a big two-out rally in the fourth, starting with a run-scoring single from Collins that scored Justice Carmichael. One batter later, Mager sent a pitch over the wall for her first home run of the year and second of her career. Weber followed with a single and came in to score a batter later when Danielle Wyse doubled to deep center field, putting Franklin up 7-1 after four innings.
Alma would start their comeback in the top of the fifth, bringing three runs home to cut the lead in half. The sixth inning saw the Scots erase what was left of the deficit with three more runs, evening the contest up at seven.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, the Grizzlies got the game-winning hit from the Weber, who capped off a huge game two with a triple to left center field that scored Thompson and Lexi Gaffney to put Franklin back in front.
Wyse (1-0) set down the Scots in order in the seventh to close out the game and pick up her first career win in the circle. She allowed just one hit and struck out two over the final two innings, taking over for Alisha Burch after she worked the first five innings. Weber finished game two with hits in all four at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring twice.
Franklin wraps up their six-game homestand on Wednesday (Mar. 20) with two games against St. Mary's (Ind.). The first pitch from Behrens Field is set for 3:30 p.m.