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Francis Marion sweeps twinbill from Pioneers

Francis Marion sweeps twinbill from Pioneers

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Francis Marion University swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum College Saturday afternoon at Red Edmonds Field, winning the opener 6-2 and taking game two by a score of 14-2 in six innings.

The Pioneers (10-8) return to action Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. at home against Young Harris College.

Game 1: Francis Marion 6, Tusculum 2
Sam Chiudina hit a two-run home run in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third, driving home five of the Patriots' six runs in support of Sydney Holland (6-3), who allowed three hits and two unearned runs to earn the win.

Francis Marion finished with 11 hits in the game, including two apiece from Chiudina, Mikala Barnhart and Brooke Holcomb. Holland struck out seven and walked three in her seventh complete game in eight starts this season.

In the first, Chiudina hit a two-run home run off Tusculum starter Cayla Cecil to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, back-to-back singles to lead off the inning were followed by Chiudina's second home run of the game and third of the season for a 5-0 Patriots lead. Holcomb added an RBI double later in the inning to extend the Francis Marion advantage to 6-0.

Tusculum was held to two hits by Holland through five innings before breaking through with two runs in the sixth. Robin Stoner led off with a pinch-walk and Taylor Battle delivered a one-out single. A throwing error on a grounder by Emily Hester allowed pinch-runner Morgan Mahaffey and Battle to score, cutting the margin to 6-2. However, Holland retired five of the final six batters to close out the victory.

Battle went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in the opener for the Pioneers, while Cecil (4-4) allowed six hits and five runs in two-plus innings of work. Eliza Davis pitched the final five innings for the Pioneers, giving up one run on five hits with two walks.

Game 2: Francis Marion 14, Tusculum 2 (6 innings)
The Patriots (10-4) built a 4-0 lead in the third inning and piled up 13 hits in the nightcap to finish off the sweep of the Pioneers. Briana Barzola went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and Rayni Newman, Jennie Polak and Barnhart all had two hits apiece for Francis Marion behind Samantha Wroblewski (4-1), who scattered seven hits in six innings for the win.

Delaney Guerrero and Sammie West each went 2-for-3 for the Pioneers, with Guerrero scoring both runs in the third and fifth innings. However, the Pioneers were undone by four errors which allowed the Patriots to score eight unearned runs in the game.

The Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the first off Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons on an error, and added three runs in the third on a fielder's choice and RBI singles from Barnhart and Barzola. Tusculum came back with a run in its half of the third as Guerrero reached on a two-out single, moved to third on a double by West and scored on a muffed throw.

Francis Marion tacked on three more runs in the fourth on a wild pitch by Davis, followed by a two-run single by Polak for a 7-1 lead. Two more Patriots runs crossed in the fifth on a fielder's choice grounder and a steal of home by Taylor Brunson, but the Pioneers got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out RBI single by Hester.

In the sixth, the Patriots scored five unearned runs on four hits, including an RBI double by Chelsea Welty and a two-run double from Johnson to close out the scoring. Chiudina drew four walks in game two for the Patriots and scored two runs, as did Brunson, Welty, Newman and Morgan Smith.

Plemons (5-4) worked three innings for the Pioneers, allowing six hits and three earned runs with two walks and a strikeout. Davis tossed three more innings of relief in the nightcap, yielding three earned runs on seven hits with four walks and a strikeout.

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