By Liam Gambon
Framingham State took to Florida for its annual spring break trip and on Norwich in the first game of a doubleheader.
Norwich came into the game without a win and left the game without one, as the Rams were able to secure a 7-1 win.
The Rams scored the first run in the first inning off a bases loaded walk that would score Dayna Marchant from third base. Framingham would then pile up six runs in the third inning. Lauren Salisbury started the rally when she singled, scoring Bridget McGrail. Salisbury was followed by Jessica Pietersen, who walked with the bases loaded, scoring Anna Dziok. With the Rams up 3-0, the inning continued when a wild pitch brought in Marissa Flynn. Mycala Moody would knock in two more in the inning with a two-RBI single knocking in both Pietersen and Salisbury. The scoring was wrapped up by a Megan Downing RBI groundout which scored Marchant.
Pietersen pitched five innings, allowing four hits, no runs, no walks and three strikeouts. Kayla Finacchiaro relieved her, pitching the final two innings, allowing two hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Rams were pitted against Plattsburg State.
The Rams shut out Plattsburg 4-0. Kelsi Gunarathne led the way and continued to look dominant this year. She pitched seven full innings, allowing three hits, four walks and no runs while striking out seven. She earned her fourth victory of the season and her second shutout.
The Rams scored in three straight innings. In the third, Moody’s bat stayed hot as she singled in Rachel Desrochers. In the fourth inning it was Desrochers’ turn to snag some RBIs and she did, as her double scored both Dziok and Kylie Boyle. The scoring ended in the fifth inning with Boyle hitting an RBI single that scored Moody. Desrochers led the offensive assault going 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Moody recorded a pair of hits and drove in a run. Boyle also picked up a pair of hits and scored a run.
The Rams wrapped up the day with two wins, outscoring their opponents 11-1.
On Friday Mar. 7, the Rams faced Trinity in the first game of a doubleheader.
Framingham, coming off a game in which it shut out its opponent, again got an excellent outing from Gunarathne. She went eight full innings, allowing just two hits, two walks and no runs while striking out seven. The only run of the game came off of a single to centerfield by Marchant that scored Kristen Dick. Marchant was 2-for-3 at the dish with one RBI and a walk as she headed the Rams offensive game.
The Rams only recorded one hit during the first seven innings while Gunarathne carried a no-hitter into the seventh. Marchant preserved the no-hitter and shutout for Gunarathne with a leaping catch, as she reached over the fence and robbed Trinity of a home run. Nicole Towner followed with a single for Trinity, but Gunarathne was able to force a groundout to end the inning and send the game to extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Trinity moved a runner to third with a sacrifice bunt, but the runner was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a groundball. Victoria Baez stole second after reaching on the fielder’s choice groundball. As Baez waited at second, her teammate responded with a base hit to center and Baez rounded third and dug for the plate. Moody, who had been big with the bat the previous day, came up big with her arm this time, as she came up throwing to gun Baez down at the plate.
Gunarathne recorded her fifth victory of the season with the shutout.
The Rams faced Bowdoin in their second game of the day and were promptly shutout 6-0.
Pietersen pitched five innings, allowing six hits, four runs and two walks while striking out one and taking the loss. Kayla Finacchiaro came on in relief and pitched two innings, allowing two hits, two runs and one walk. The opposing starter Emily Griffin pitched a very solid seven innings. She allowed just four hits, no runs and two walks while striking out seven Rams.
The loss moves the Rams record to 6-5 on the season and is their first loss in their last four games.
Pietersen is now 1-4 on the season with an ERA of 3.27. The only hits of the game for the Rams came from Marchant, Dziok, Finacchiaro and Kyla Johnson. The game wrapped up Framingham’s trip to Florida, as they leave the Sunshine State with a record of 5-5.