FLORENCE, S.C. – The Lander softball team suffered a pair of conference losses on Saturday afternoon as the Bearcats fell to Francis Marion, 6-0 and 4-3.
Lander (19-23, 4-12 PBC) fell behind to the Patriots (31-18, 10-10 PBC) 2-0 in the first inning of the first game as FMU rode the arm of Katelyn Ellard (18-9), as she limited the Bearcats to just five hits with 10 strikeouts in a shutout. The Patriots posted four runs in the sixth for insurance to claim a 6-0 victory. Ashley Vinson (7-12) allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.1 innings for Lander.
In game two, the Bearcats took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Kelli McCormack scored on an error and Vinson came home on an RBI groundout from Kasey Rogers. FMU cut the lead in half in the second inning, but Lander answered as Vinson drove home Sydney Grimes with a single.
Trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, Francis Marion took the lead on a three-run homer, then kept the Bearcats off the board in the final two innings to complete the sweep. Amie Hutchison (7-4) earned the win for FMU, allowing three runs on five hits with one strikeout in 5.0 innings, while Ellard picked up her third save of the year with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Abby Killian (11-9) surrendered four runs on six hits with three strikeouts for Lander.
Lander hosts Young Harris on Friday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. at Doug Spears Field.