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Franciscan Athletics | March 13, 2014

Franciscan wins first game in three seasons in wild fashion

CLAIRMONT, Fla. -- Franciscan won its first game since 2011 with a dramatic 4-3 victory against Anna Maria College, scoring the winning run on a wild pitch.

The Lady Barons lost a second contest 21-0 against Stevenson, but the streak-breaking win carried the emotion of the day.

"It was a long time coming, so it was great to finally get one," second-year head coach Jen Parker said. "They had their heads in that game and played really smart. They were just really together."

Franciscan trailed 3-0 after three innings. But a double from catcher Kim Muscat brought home pitcher Ashley Ruttencutter to get the Lady Barons on the scoreboard. First baseman Katrina Fabian followed with an inside-the-park home run to tie the score.

"Katrina had one the other night that she thought it was over the fence and she kind of let up in running," Parker said. "So I told her 'run like it's a liner up the middle.' So for that inside-the-park home run, she was running her tail off."

The game went to the bottom of the seventh tied at 3-3, giving Franciscan a rare opportunity to change its losing ways.

"There was a whole lot of energy in that dugout," Parker said. "It was definitely loud."

Second baseman Rosemary Cassidy reached base, went to second on a single by Elizabeth Knab and stole third. Then with two outs, a pitch got by the opposing catcher and Cassidy immediately took off for the plate.

."Their catcher was pretty good but as soon as it went by, Rosy was gone," Parker said. "She's so fast that there wasn't any doubt in my mind Rosy was going to score."

Cassidy crossed the bag without sliding, giving FUS their first win since April 30, 2011. Cassidy and Fabian's heroics were set by the best pitching performance of Ruttencutter's young career. In just her fifth game after moving to the mound, the junior struck out three batters, walked six and forced the opposing batters into 11 fly outs and six groundouts.

"She did amazing. I thought about taking her out in the fifth inner just to get her some rest and she told me she wanted to stay in," Parker said. "She just gets stronger and stronger. She's just embraced the pitch roll and I can't say anything but good things about her."