Softball Swept in Tuesday Doubleheader by Stonehill
Jessica Furtado launches two-run homer in game two
EASTON, Mass. (April 3, 2012) -- The Franklin Pierce University softball team was swept in a Tuesday doubleheader at Stonehill, dropping game one by a 7-3 count and falling in game two 6-3. The games were played at Father Gartland Field in Easton, Mass. The Ravens dipped to 9-14 overall and 7-7 in the Northeast-10, while the Skyhawks improved to 15-7 and 8-6 in league play.
Stonehill's early offensive attack was the catalyst in the game one victory as the Skyhawks exploded for a combined six runs in the first four innings to take a 6-0 lead. Courtney Marchand highlighted the second inning as she stroked a two-run single, scoring Brianna Gunter and Jocelynne Morrell.
Marchand collected another RBI in the fourth inning when she lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Kaitlin Miller, who doubled to lead off the frame. Nicole Eisenman capped the early barrage of runs later in the frame when singled back through the middle of the infield to plate Chelsea Stryker, who laid down a bunt single in the inning's second at-bat.
The Ravens tried to claw back and did score three runs in the top of the fifth on one swing of the bat by senior outfielder Jayme Bilafer (Concord, Mass.), as she homered to left-center field. Senior Meaghan O'Neal (Littleton, Mass.) and junior Megan Bird (Laconia, N.H.) came around to score on Bilafer's homer as the two each stroked a single earlier in the inning.
However, that was as close as the Ravens would get in trying to pull off a winning rally. Franklin Pierce could not plate anymore runs over the final two innings, while the Skyhawks tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Gunter doubled down the right-field line to lead off the frame and eventually scored on a fielder's choice.
The Skyhawks were able to solve Franklin Pierce starting pitcher Kaitlyn Johnson (New Boston, N.H.), as the freshman was tagged for six runs (only three earned) on nine hits through 3.1 innings of work. She suffered the loss to fall to 4-6 on the season.
Lindsay McKillop started in the circle for Stonehill and went 4.1 innings, giving up just three runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts to earn the win to improve to 2-1 on the year.
Stryker had three hits and scored a pair of runs to help key the Stonehill attack. O'Neal paced the Ravens with a pair of hits.
Stonehill brought the bats out early and often in game two, including scoring a run in the first and five more in the third to take another 6-0 lead. McKillop and Kelsey Wilcox each smacked two-run doubles to key the explosive third inning.
Franklin Pierce, again, tried to claw back into the game and pushed a run across in the fifth and two more in the six to trim the deficit to 6-3. Senior Jamie Verner (Natick, Mass.) launched a solo homer in the fifth, while junior Jessica Furtado (Taunton, Mass.) smacked a two-run shot in the following frame, scoring senior Rachel Baxter (Cumberland, R.I.) on the play, who singled earlier in the inning.
Junior pitcher Rachel Allen (Hull, Mass.) started in the circle for the Ravens and took the loss to fall to 3-6, yielding six runs (four earned) on eight hits over 6.0 innings of work. Samantha Krantz got the win for Stonehill as she went 5.2 innings to (3 runs, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts) to run her record to 7-3 on the season. Kellie Reardon came on in relief in both games and picked up a pair of saves.
Franklin Pierce returns to action tomorrow when the Ravens play host to Assumption in a doubleheader in Rindge beginning at 3 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce softball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens).