FLORENCE, SC – For the second day in a row, wet weather has forced the cancellation of Francis Marion University diamond contests.
The women’s softball doubleheader between FMU and Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville and the non-conference baseball game between the Patriots and Barton College in Wilson, N.C., were both rained out and will not be rescheduled.
The Patriot softball team will enter this weekend’s Peach Belt Conference Tournament as the fourth seed with a 32-15 overall mark and a 12-8 conference record. The 12 PBC wins are the most ever for a Patriot squad. FMU will face fifth-seeded Georgia College & State University (32-16, 12-8) in a second-round game, Friday at 2 p.m.
Most of the early tournament games will be played at Spartanburg’s 295 Sports Complex, with later games (semifinals and championship) to be played at USCS’s on-campus Cyrill Stadium.
Francis Marion swept a twinbill from GC&SU during the regular season, edging the then 24th-ranked Lady Bobcats 10-9 and 6-4 in Milledgeville, Ga. Those victories started a run that has seen the Patriots win 11 of their last 12 contests, including nine straight conference games.
Sophomore shortstop Heather Garrison leads a quartet of Patriots who are hitting above .350. Garrison is batting .388 with a team-record 11 home runs and 39 runs batted in. Freshman third baseman Janine Allen is hitting .377 with six home runs and 29 RBIs, followed by junior center fielder Betsy Bouknight (.373, 3 HRs, 29 RBIs, 23-25 SBs), and freshman infielder Tatjana Slawson (.359, 7 HRs, school-record 48 RBIs).
Freshmen right-handers Sam Goff (16-10, 2.32 earned run average) and Jessica Johnson (9-3, 1.68 ERA) and senior Natalie Taylor (7-2, 2.10 ERA) have combined to allow only two earned runs over the past 32 innings.
FMU is 16-12 all-time against GC&SU, and the Patriots own a 14-18 mark in previous PBC Tournaments.
The Patriot baseball team (23-17) will play host to 28th-ranked Lander University for a three-game PBC series this weekend. The two squads will play a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.