FLORENCE, S.C. – Junior right-hander Jessica Johnson tossed a one-hit shutout in the opener and junior Tatjana Slawson delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning of game two to give Francis Marion University a doubleheader sweep, 2-0 and 3-2, of local-rival Coker College, Sunday afternoon (March 19) in non-conference women’s softball action.

 

Francis Marion (19-7) has now won six straight games, five of them in their final at bat, while Coker falls to 19-10.  The Patriots also narrow the deficit in the all-time series with Coker to 25-22 with their eighth win in the last 10 meetings.

 

In game one of the twinbill, Johnson (10-3) allowed only a seventh-inning double to Coker second baseman Anna Lucas.  She struck out 11 Cobras, and until the seventh inning, allowed only one base runner on a second-inning walk.

 

In the final inning, Lucas doubled and two Cobras walked to load the bases with one out.  Johnson got Eunice Nettles to pop out and fanned Nicole Crider to end the game.

 

FMU scored once in the third inning on an RBI single by freshman Lakyn Bendle and once in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by freshman Megan Pangburn.  Coker junior Somer Bigham (9-4) was the loser despite allowing only five hits and one earned run.

 

Third baseman Janine Allen paced the FMU hitting attack in game one with a 2-for-3 performance.

 

In the second game, FMU took a 1-0 lead in the third frame when freshman Shannan Tyson doubled to left field, driving home Jenna Sexton, who had reached base on an infield throwing error.  Coker answered with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.  Senior Amy Shelley plated both runs with a bases-loaded single down the left field line.  FMU righty Serena Lim (8-4) averted additional trouble by retiring the next two batters on a ground out and a pop up.

 

FMU rallied to force extra innings with the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning.  With two outs, Sexton singled up the middle to drive in Jamie Wiggins and knot the score at 2-2.  Using the tie-breaker rule of placing a runner at second base, FMU won the game with its run in the eighth.  Bendle led off the inning by bunting Monica Wofford over to third.  Slawson then drove an 0-2 pitch from Coker starter Amanda Shelton (6-4) deep down the left field line, and Wofford easily beat the throw home.

 

Shelton handcuffed the Patriots on only three hits through six innings.  Only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.

 

Both Jessica Blackwell (2-for-4) and Shelley (2-for-3) collected two hits for Coker in the second contest.  No Patriot had more than one hit in game two.

 

FMU will play host to Wingate University for a doubleheader, Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., while Coker plays at Queens University of Charlotte, Saturday at 2 p.m.

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