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FPD Softball Sweeps Darlington In Dramatic Fashion

FPD defeated Darlington in game one on a walk-off, 2-run homerun by Senior Sadie Frame and then battled back from an early 6-1 deficit in game two, winning 18-8 behind a 10-run seventh inning to sweep the series. The two-week layoff did not slow FPD and their intense preparation during the practices allowed them to sweep the series sending them back to Columbus for the 5th straight season.

Game one between the two top 10 teams was a classic pitcher’s duel between Darlington’s Josi McKibben and FPD’s Karsen Ochs with both pitchers throwing complete games. Ochs would allow only one hit over the course of those 7 innings while striking out 11. Offensively FPD would only muster four total hits off McKibben but with a 1-2 count and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Frame would deliver the fourth and biggest hit of the night off McKibben with a towering shot to left-field to give the Lady Vikings the victory in game one, 2-0.

Game two featured more drama as FPD battled for seven more innings, scratching and clawing their way to victory. They would score a run in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Abby Surles, scoring courtesy runner Gabby Bosse. However, Darlington would score three in both the bottom of the first and second to lead 6-1 and then the fun really began as FPD rolled up their sleeves to begin the climb back for the sweep. In the top of the third Olivia Parker hit a 2-run homerun to centerfield to cut the lead to 6-3. In the top of the fourth Ochs and Moe Register would single in a run a piece to make the game 6-5.

Darlington would answer back in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run, two-out single up the middle off Ochs to regain a three-run cushion heading into the top fifth with the score now 8-5 and the score would remain that until the sixth.  In the top of the sixth Ochs would lead off the inning and reach first base after getting hit by a pitch and Caylee Ann Sutton would follow that up with a two-run homerun to make the game 8-7 with no outs. Parker, now representing the tying run, would follow Sutton’s bomb with a base hit of her own and advance to second and third on consecutive ground-outs. Now, with FPD down a run with two-outs Sydnee Sconyers stepped into the box fouling off back to back pitches and now faced an 0-2 count with two-outs with the tying run on third. On the next pitch, she would line a double into the right-centerfield gap tying the game at 8.

Ochs would shut down Darlington in the bottom of the sixth with a quick three up, three down inning, and that’s when the flood gates opened offensively for FPD. In the top of the seventh FPD would score 10 runs on 11 hits and two throwing errors by Darlington to turn what had been a close game into a blowout. Ochs would close out the game for her second complete game victory with another quick one, two, three inning.

The two weeks of preparation by Head Coach Denny Bryant proved to be the right formula for FPD as they worked and worked to prepare for this moment, and when the moment came in both games they were ready to answer the challenge living their motto for the season of defending the “P.” In the words of General Douglas MacArthur, “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory,” and their two weeks did just that.

They’ll return to action in Columbus next Thursday October 26th in the Elite Eight.