LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall softball team dropped its Centennial Conference-opening doubleheader against Swarthmore on Saturday. The Diplomats came into the game with a stong offensive showing in recent contests, but ran into a formidable pitching staff in the Garnet.
Game 1: Swarthmore 4, Franklin & Marshall 1
Swarthmore got the early jump on the scoreboard with a leadoff home run. After F&M's pitching held the Garnet off the scoreboard during the second and third innings, the Garnet added two more in the fourth on an RBI double and a defensive miscue.
Franklin & Marshall was able to get its offense going in the six inning. Down 3-0, Devon Witt blasted a solo home run over the centerfield fence. That home run marked the first of Witt's career and was one of two hits for the junior during the opening game. She and Jamie Belfer got the Diplomats' first hits of the day with singles during the fourth inning.
Coming to bat in the seventh, the Garnet added one more insurance run on a solo home run from Alexandra Simon. Peightyn Schwartz went the distance in the circle for the Diplomats and struck out three hitters, allowing just earned runs over her seven innings of work. Swarthmore's Gwen Glatz conceded just one less hit than Schwartz, but picked up her third win of the year in the process.
Game 2: Swarthmore 10, Franklin & Marshall 0 (5 inn.)
Although Saturday's second game was halted after five innings, the Diplomats were able to hold the Garnet scoreless during three of their five times up to bat. Unfortunately for the hosts, the hits came in one big wave as the Garnet scored eight times on seven hits during the second inning. One defensive miscue was all Swarthmore needed to add two more runs to its total during the fifth inning with a pair of RBI singles.
Swarthmore's pitching was once again strong, but it did look like Franklin & Marshall was going to be able to score first as Belfer led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple over the centerfielder's head. However, that potential run was cut down at the plate as F&M tried some early aggression on the base paths in hopes of jumping out to the early lead on an attempted sacrifice fly.
From that point on, Meg Ozawa – the Centennial Conference leader in ERA – took over and allowed just one walk over her final four innings of work. Three different first-years saw time in the circle for F&M during game two as Charlotte Dwyer, Kayla Kilmer, and Aliza Sheflin each made their Centennial Conference debuts.
F&M faces another challenging test to start the Centennial Conference slate as the Diplomats will travel to defending Centennial Conference Champion Gettysburg this Tuesday. First pitch in that doubleheader is scheduled for 3 p.m.