Softball Swept by AIC in Saturday Doubleheader
Jessica Furtado drives in four runs on the day, including a home run in the first game
RINDGE, N.H. (April 7, 2012) -- The Franklin Pierce University softball team was swept by American International in doubleheader on Saturday at FPU Softball Field in Rindge. The Yellow Jackets rallied for a 4-1 win in game one and scored six times in the first inning of game two and never looked back in earning a 9-6 decision. Franklin Pierce dropped its sixth and seventh games in a row in falling to 9-18 overall and 7-11 in the Northeast-10, while AIC improved to 10-18 and 6-12 in league play.
Franklin Pierce's day got off to a great start in the bottom of the first inning in game one as junior catcher Jessica Furtado (Taunton, Mass.) broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run over the wall in left-center field. It was Furtado's fourth of the season, which moved her into 15th place in the NE-10 in that category. It was an all-around solid day for Furtado, who drove in four runs total (fifth highest total in the conference) and raised her batting average to a blistering .395.
The Ravens lead, though, was short-lived as the Yellow Jackets carved out a run in the fourth inning to knot the score at 1-1. Steph Belanger came home to score in the inning on a throwing error by Franklin Pierce starting pitcher Rachel Allen (Hull, Mass.), who was trying to complete a double play after catching a liner from Marlee Haigh. Allen's throw over to third to catch Haigh, skipped in the dirt past third baseman Ashley Noke (Cumberland, R.I.), thus enabling Belanger to get up from the slide back to the bag and trot home safely.
Prior to that glitch, Allen had been strong in the pitching circle having not allowed a runner to get into scoring position. Allen didn't that run affect her and got Lauren Tosi to ground out to end the inning.
AIC, though, sparked another rally in the fifth and pushed two runs across to take a 3-1 lead. Lauren Rousseau singled to begin the frame and moved to second after Michele Niejadlik reached on a Franklin Pierce error. Rousseau came around to score as Haley Marchand roped an RBI single to center field. Belanger followed and blasted a double to left field, bringing in Niejadlik.
Erin Glikas started in the pitching circle for AIC and eventually earned the win as she was still in the game when the Yellow Jackets took the two run lead. Beth Grimes came on to pitch the final three innings for the Yellow Jackets and scattered two hits while holding the Ravens at bay in earning the save, which was her second of the season. Glikas went 4.0 innings, yielding just the one run on three hits and improved to 2-0. Marchand capped the game-one scoring with a solo shot in the seventh inning.
Allen suffered the loss in falling to 3-7 on the year. She went 4.1 innings with three runs allowed (only one earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Jessica Colson (Feeding Hills, Mass.) came on in relief and pitched 2.2 innings, giving up a run on a pair of hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
AIC kept up the hot bats in the first inning of game two as it scored six times. The highlights of the frame were back-to-back home runs from Grimes (a three-run shot) and Erin St. Pierre (a solo homer).
The Ravens, though, didn't fold and scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit in half. Freshman Alicia Dean (Danvers, Mass.) drew a walk to lead off the inning and went to second on a base hit from senior Jayme Bilafer (Concord, Mass.). Furtado brought home Dean with a single through the right side and the Ravens scored their final two runs of the inning on RBI sacrifice bunts by junior Megan Bird (Laconia, N.H.) and senior Rachel Baxter (Cumberland, R.I.).
However, that was as close as the Ravens would get to pulling off a potential come-from-behind victory. Marchand drove in two more runs in the fourth and sent a solo homer over the right-field wall to lead off the seventh to extend AIC's advantage to 9-3.
Franklin Pierce did score three times in the bottom of the seventh, but could not get closer than the three-run margin. Bilafer drove in classmate Nikki Pratt (Gardner, Mass.) with a double, while Furtado knocked in a pair of tallies with a base hit back up through the middle.
Freshman Kaitlyn Johnson (New Boston, N.H.) started in the circle, but lasted just one-third of an inning in falling to 4-7 on the year. She gave up six runs on four hits with a pair of walks. Colson came on in relief of Johnson and pitched a solid outing, giving up just three runs on five hits with six strikeouts over 6.2 innings of work. Grimes got the win for AIC in the circle in game.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday when the Ravens play host to Saint Anselm in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. in Rindge.
For more information on Franklin
Pierce softball, please visit the team's page at
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