STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan softball team found its defensive groove in the second game and earned a doubleheader split with AMCC opponent D'Youville. The Lady Barons dropped the first game 16-10 before winning the second, 8-5.
After several defensive miscues led to a nine-run third inning for D'Youville, Franciscan found its focus for the second game and played near perfect softball in the 8-5 win.
The Lady Barons struck early in game two as freshman Dennise Carrazco came home on a sacrifice bunt from classmate Kayla Anderson. With a runner on second, freshman Ashley Kondracki launched the ball deep over the left field fence to bring home Kathleen Thompson and give the Lady Barons a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans got one back in the top of the second but Franciscan answered with two runs in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 5-1. With two outs, Anna King reached on a throwing error by the catcher while laying down a bunt and Anna Fluharty and Jordan Cunningham were able to come around and score.
Franciscan pushed its lead to 6-1 with a run in the bottom of the sixth as Carrazco led off the frame with her first home run of the season over the left field fence. The Lady Barons were poised to tack on more runs with the bases loaded and one out, but a line drive double play halted the scoring attack with the Lady Barons up, 6-1.
The Spartans had a big fifth inning, scoring four runs on four hits, including a three-run home run, but freshman starting pitcher Jayln Effertz was able to keep her cool and get out of the inning with the Lady Barons still in the lead, 6-5.
After a scoreless bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth, the Lady Barons added a few insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and second, Kondracki flew out to the second basemen but a throwing error allowed Anderson to advance from first to third and Thompson to come home from second. Cunningham then singled home Anderson to give the Lady Barons the 8-5 win.
Effertz had just one base runner in her last frame but was able to induce a pair of infield pop ups to end the game.
Effertz picked up her second win in as many outings for Franciscan after going the full seven and allowing five runs on six hits and striking out three.
Game one didn't have the same outcome for the Lady Barons, unfortunately, as costly errors doomed Franciscan. Nine of the Spartans 16 runs in the first game were earned while Cunningham and Pulice combined for 19 hits allowed and two walks while striking out two.
The Spartans and Lady Barons traded runs in the first inning before Franciscan took a 2-1 lead in the second thanks to a RBI infield single from Lindsey Finch. D'Youville then scored nine runs in the third and three in the fourth to take a 13-3 lead. Franciscan got three back in the fourth and two in the fifth but the hole was too deep for the Lady Barons to climb out of.
D'Youville tacked on one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to take the 16-8 lead. Franciscan wasn't finished, however, and finished the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to bring the score to its final, 16-10. With runners on the corners, King grounded out to put two in scoring position. Carrazco reached on the second dropped fly ball of the inning by a Spartan outfielder and allowed Fluharty to score. Thompson grounded out to the second baseman to bring home Finch for the final run of the game.
Carrazco was 5-8 for the doubleheader and scored five runs while Kondracki was 3-for-6 with a run and four RBI.
The Lady Barons travel to Grove City on Thursday for a non-conference doubleheader at 3:00 pm.