Transylvania softball sweeps Franklin on road for 7th straight HCAC win

Messing at bat

Franklin, Ind. – The Transylvania softball team continued their tear through the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, sweeping the Franklin College Grizzlies 2-0 and 8-5 in eight innings on Tuesday evening at Behrens Field.

The pair of victories extended the Pioneers' conference win streak to seven games, moving to 8-2 in HCAC play and 18-10 overall. Franklin dropped to 7-5 in conference play and 15-15 overall.

Game one featured a pitchers' duel as Kameron Bowling and Franklin's Kayla Selzer offered their best stuff for the majority of the contest. Bowling posted a complete-game shutout, yielding just two hits, one walk, and ringing up six.

Selzer went the first six innings and took the loss, courtesy of a two-run fifth inning by the Pioneers that proved to be the difference offensively.

With Selzer and Bowling having success in the circle, the Pioneers finally achieved their breakthrough in the top of the fifth inning. Becca Messing began the surge with a double into the outfield and Brittany Mumford delivered a base hit to move Messing ahead to third. Transylvania took a 1-0 lead on a throwing error that allowed Messing to come home.

Later in the inning, Jessica Powell continued her hot streak with an RBI single into right field to score Mumford for a 2-0 lead that the Pioneers would maintain until the conclusion of game one.

Messing led the Pioneers in game one with a 3-for-3 game at bat. Bowling improved her record to 10-5 on the year.

After Franklin and Transylvania combined for 10 hits in game one, the offense explosion lorded over game two as Franklin would notch 13 hits against Transylvania's 11.

Unlike game one, the scoring came early and often. The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly RBI by Annie Schuck to score Mumford; Shelby Gambrell scored on the next at-bat by Powell as she came home on a fielding error for a 2-0 Pioneer lead.

Franklin evened up the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second and took the lead with an additional run in the bottom of the third. Franklin maintained its 3-2 lead all the way until the top of the sixth inning when another Pioneer rally began.

Laurel Major was hit by a pitch and Messing continued a fiery day with a one-out single to start the action in the sixth. Mumford got aboard on a groundout to cover the corners and Gambrell placed down a well-executed bunt to score pinch-runner Jordyn Powell for the tying run while Mumford raced to third. After Gambrell stole second, Schuck delivered a base hit into right field to hand the Pioneers a 5-3 lead.

Franklin pulled back one run in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the Pioneer lead to 5-4 before the game took a turn for the dramatic in the bottom of the seventh inning. One out away from defeat, Franklin's Natalie Weber hit a game-tying home run to forge a 5-5 tie.

The game continued into the eighth inning where the Pioneers went right back to work. Taylor Stamps led off with a single into left field to place two runners on, leading the way for Messing to continue her torrid Tuesday: the freshman then delivered a triple into right field to score both Jordan Kramer and Stamps for a 7-5 lead. Mumford added an insurance run with an RBI single to score Messing for an 8-5 advantage.

Franklin placed runners on at first and third in the bottom of the inning, but Bowling retired the final Franklin batter to secure the sweep for Transylvania.

Bowling collected her second win of the day as she replaced starting pitcher Jessica Gunter to work the final 2.2 innings of the day. Gunter finished with two strikeouts, no walks, and 10 hits allowed while Bowling issued three hits, no walks, and one strikeout.

Mumford, Messing, and Schuck each went 2-for-4 at the plate while Gambrell went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Transylvania will continue its schedule on Thursday, April 25 against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers with a doubleheader at Hall Field. The HCAC doubleheader is currently scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start.

For more on Transylvania softball, follow @TransySoftball on Twitter