STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan softball team earned a doubleheader split with the visiting Mount Aloysius Mounties to stay even in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference action as the Lady Barons won the first game 4-3 before the Mounties took the second, 7-4.
With the split today, the Lady Barons moved to 10-14 on the year and are 6-6 in the AMCC. Individually, senior pitcher Jordan Cunningham won her fifth game of the season and sixth of her career and became the all-time winningest pitcher at Franciscan University.
The Lady Barons struck first in the opening game to give Cunningham a little cushion after the second inning. Freshman Ashley Kondracki led off the inning with a single to center. Anna Fluharty moved her to second with a single to left with one out. Junior Lindsey Finch sent a roller to second that looked like it would be an inning-ending double play ball but mishandling by the second baseman allowed Finch to reach on a fielder's choice while Fluharty was safe at second. Kondracki made it to third and came around to score on the error to give FUS a 1-0 lead. Finch and Fluharty completed a double steal before Fluharty scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to 2-0.
The Mounties answered with two runs of their own on three hits and a pair of Lady Baron errors to tie the game 2-2 going into the bottom of the third. Franciscan took the lead back in the third after Kathleen Thompson singled and stole second and Kayla Anderson walked. Kondracki singled to right field to bring home Thompson for the 3-2 lead.
The Lady Barons and Mounties traded scoreless fourth innings before Mount Aloysius tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Kate Little reached on an error that allowed Caroline Showalter to score. Cunningham got the next Mountie to fly out to left to end the inning.
Franciscan answered quickly as the Lady Barons scored a run on two hits in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Kondracki singled to right to put runners on the corners. With Cunningham up to bat, Kondracki, stole second to put two in scoring position. Cunningham helped herself at the plate as she singled to bring home Anderson for the 4-3 Lady Baron lead.
Cunningham worked a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to earn her fifth win of the year.
The runs were harder to come by in the second game as the Mounties got out to a 5-0 lead after the third inning, including four in the top of the third.
Franciscan got on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Cunningham singled home Kondracki with one out. Fluharty doubled to left to put two runners in scoring position but the Lady Barons were unable to capitalize on the scoring opportunity. Anderson brought home Franciscan's second run of the game as she ripped a triple to right and Thompson scored on the hit to cut the lead to 5-2.
After a scoreless sixth, the Mounties and Lady Barons each plated a pair of runs in the seventh to bring the score to its final, 7-4. Franciscan's runs came on three hits. Dennise Carrazco and Thompson hit back-to-back RBI doubles for the game's final two runs before Anderson and Kondracki ended the game with a pair of hard-hit lineouts.
The Lady Barons make the quick trip to Bethany, WV to take on the Bison on Thursday for a 3:00 pm doubleheader.