LEESBURG, Fla. (March 8, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University softball team went 1-1 Friday morning suffering a 7-4 defeat to Malone University and shutting out Bloomfield College 6-0. With the split, the Ravens record moves to 1-5 while the Pioneers improve to 6-3 and the setback sends the Bears to 2-6 on the young season.
The victory against Bloomfield was the first career collegiate win for first-year head coach Andrew Klaus. Freshman infielder Cat Simmons (Pine Plans, N.Y.) swung a hot bat in both games combining to go 5-for-8 with her first career homer, a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Team captain Ashley Conway (Salem, N.H.) also was productive going 2-for-8 with a double and three RBI.
Game One: Pioneers 7, Ravens 4 (Final)
Simmons recorded three hits in the contest going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and one run scored. Classmate, first basemen Lexi Garcia (Sylmar, Calif.) manufactured a multi-hit effort going 2-for-4 with a two-bagger, an RBI and one run scored. Teammate Ashley Rosario (Queensbury, N.Y.) was 2-for-3 as well. Sophomore pitcher Cyrena Zemaitis (Goshen, Conn.) earned the start and only last 3.2 innings letting four earned runs to score while striking out two batters. Junior southpaw Amelia Mamone (Averill Park, N.Y.) came on in relief and completed the final 3.1 frames.
Pioneers senior shortstop Serena Tucciarelli was a perfect 4-for-4 in the batter's box. Sophomore catcher Bailey Byers smoked two homers and drove home five RBI for Malone. Kelsey Byers threw a complete game striking out eight batters.
The Ravens drew first blood in the home half of the first inning. Freshman left fielder Maiah Lopez (Oxnard, Calif.) worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third base via a Simmons two-out single to right field. Conway stepped to the plate and immediately roped a ground-rule double down the left field line putting the Ravens ahead 1-0 in the early going. Garcia followed with a single up the middle that brought home Simmons, however, Conway was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.
Malone tied the game in the top of the third when Bailey Byers hit a two-run jack to left field with two away. The next batter, third baseman April Howser doubled to center keeping the inning alive. Kelsey Byers helped out her own cause singling home the runner moving the Pioneers in front 3-2. Zemaitis struck out freshman first basemen Emily Betts for the third out.
A Madison Corrick one-run single in the next frame increased the Pioneer advantage to 4-2. With two down in the bottom of the fifth, Pierce sophomore centerfielder Gina Hinckley (Lancaster, Mass.) wore a pitch for the team and was awarded first base. Simmons followed with her third hit in as many chances knocking in Hinckley via a two-bagger bringing the margin to 4-3. Simmons was stranded in scoring position as Kelsey Byers danced out of danger.
Bailey Byers connected on her second round-tripper of the game with one away in the top of the sixth to advance the Pioneer edge to 7-3. The Crimson and Grey attempted a late rally in the bottom of the sixth loading the bases on a Garcia double, a Sabrina LoMonaco (Franklin, Mass.) walk, and a Lopez free pass. Garcia came racing home on a wild pitch to cut the Raven deficit to 7-4. It was the closest the Ravens would come as Kelsey Byers punched out the final batter of the rally with runners at second and third.
Game Two: Ravens 6, Bears 0 (Final)
Zemaitis took the circle in the second game and improved to 1-3 on the season throwing her first complete game shutout of the year. She scattered eight hits over the seven frames and punched out nine batters. Freshman left fielder Sarah Ernst (Ayer, Mass.) had the only multi-hit game for the Ravens going 2-for-4 with one run scored and a two-bagger. Conway manufactured two RBI, Simmons bashed a long ball and freshman catcher Allie Martinez (Upland, Calif.) set the table from the leadoff spot with three walks, two runs scored and went 1-for-1.
First basemen Jerae Keli'lkoa was 3-for-3 for Bloomfield in the loss while starting hurler Maddie Fedderson threw 3.1 innings allowing four runs – three earned on four hits and three walks. She struck out two batters.
The Ravens drew first blood in the top of the first when Martinez singled into the gap in left center and promptly glided into second on a wild pitch. Martinez and Rosario advanced a base off another wild pitch to put runners at second and third with no outs. Simmons loaded the bases for Conway off a fielding miscue. Conway ripped a single to plate Martinez and Rosario, but Simmons was thrown out at second base for the first out. The next two Ravens were retired as they lead 2-0 following their first at-bats.
In the bottom of the second, Zemaitis allowed three singles to load the bases, but Bloomfield could not get any of the runners home as the Ravens pitcher struck out the side swinging to keep her team ahead 2-0. Hinckley singled to right field during the top of the third to increase the Raven lead to 3-0. A Bears wild pitch also brought another run home after an Ernst double to left center making the score 4-0. During final bats for the Ravens, Simmons rifled a solo jack to center pushing the margin to 5-0. Second basemen Jess Rego (Richmond, R.I.) capped off the scoring with an RBI knock to right field.
The Crimson and Grey will look to end their trip to Florida on the right foot with two more matches tomorrow, the first versus Rockhurst University at 12:15 p.m. and the second against Lake Erie College at 2:30 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://fpuravens.com). You can also follow the softball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPUSoftball_) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpu_ravens_softball).