CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Franklin College softball team opened the defense of their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament championship on Thursday (May 2).
In their opening contest, the third-seeded Grizzlies dropped a hard-fought back-and-forth contest with second-seeded Transylvania, 4-2. Later in the night, the Grizzlies faced Defiance in an elimination contest, falling to the Yellow Jackets 4-1 to end their conference title defense.
Game One: #2 Transylvania 4 - #3 Franklin 2
Franklin struck first in the top of the second inning, when Taylor Bounin ripped a one-out RBI double to right field, scoring pinch runner Samantha Cain and putting two runners in scoring position. But the Grizzlies could only generate the one run, as the next two hitters were retired to end the threat.
Transy tied the game in the bottom of the second before Natalie Weber put Franklin back in front in the top of the third, leading off the inning with a solo home run. The Grizzlies held the lead until the bottom of the fifth, when the Pioneers plated a pair of runs to take the lead for the first time. Transylvania added another run in the sixth while the Franklin offense managed just one hit over the final four innings.
Kayla Selzer (9-9) went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Game Two: #4 Defiance 4 - #3 Franklin 1
Franklin put together a rally in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases with two outs and allowing Abby Hickson to knock in the first run of the game with an RBI single into left field.
Defiance tied the game in the top of the second and after Franklin stranded a runner at third in their half of the inning, the Yellow Jackets took the lead for good with two runs in their half of the third. The Grizzlies generated four hits over the final six innings of play, stranding seven runners in the game.
Alisha Burch (7-7) got the start for the Grizzlies, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Franklin finishes the 2019 season with an 18-18 record, going 10-6 in league play.