Franklin's answers give Lions questions

Indians romp, 11-1, after seven-run first inning, rebound from tough loss

April 08, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

One day after allowing five unearned runs in the top of the seventh in an emotional loss to the Institute of Notre Dame, No. 9-ranked Franklin came back yesterday against host Liberty with just one thing on its mind.

Said coach Rick Wiscott: "We needed a quick start."

The Indians did just that, sending 11 batters to the plate, taking advantage of four errors, and scoring seven runs in the first inning en route to an 11-1, six-inning win over the Lions.

Following Tuesday's late collapse in a 5-4 loss, mainly because of lapses in the field, Franklin (3-1) took advantage of numerous defensive mistakes to score eight unearned runs, six in the opening inning alone.

"We just fell apart [Tuesday], but we didn't get down on ourselves," said shortstop Missy King. "We just popped ourselves back up and were ready to play and win. We were really all together today."

King went 2-for-4 to lead the offense, including a two-run triple that sailed well over the head of right fielder Robyn McCormick in the first to give Franklin the lead.

The Indians then got plenty of help.

A batter later, King scored when Liberty pitcher Lindsay Rankin threw high to first after fielding a grounder. Later in the inning, runs scored on a dropped throw at first and an errant throw by the catcher.

Before Liberty leadoff hitter Amber Frantz even stepped foot in the box, the Lions (1-2) were down 7-0.

"Needless to say, the first inning hurt us," said Liberty coach Nora Murray, whose team was playing its first game in 12 days. "If we could get rid of the first inning, I think it's a different ballgame.

"Our strength is actually playing strong defense," he continued. "I told my kids before the game that for us to win we had to play good, sound fundamental softball. We had to be error free."

The Indians then did the job in the field, turning in a number of stellar plays behind pitcher Jamie Widerman, who pitched a complete-game four-hitter and struck out six.

With Liberty runners on first and second and one out in the fourth, Franklin quickly ended the rally when King turned a tough force play at third and catcher Annie Wong then cut down a runner attempting to steal third.

Then, with one on and one out in the fifth, Widerman struck out designated hitter Becky Campagna, and Wong nailed McCormick trying to steal second.

The Indians padded their lead with single runs in the third and sixth and two, both unearned, in the fifth.

Just hours after his team's similar collapse, Wiscott empathized with his counterpart.

"Sometimes you see it as a coach, and you just can't stop it," said Wiscott, whose team has taken its three wins via the 10-run "slaughter" rule, outscoring opponents, 44-9. "You're thinking, `What can I do to end this?' and you just don't have the answer."

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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