Franklin, Alford help Panthers go 4-1 in Florida

MeQuilla Franklin and the Georgia State softball team polished off a successful weekend Sunday.

The Rockdale graduate had two hits and an RBI and the Panthers defeated Western Michigan 6-1 in the final game of the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Florida.

Georgia State won four of its five games in the tournament with its only loss coming to ESPN.com/USA Softball No. 15 Stanford 7-1 on Saturday. In the other three victories, the Atlanta school defeated St. Bonaventure (8-1), Central Connecticut State (4-2) and Quinnipiac (10-2 in six innings).

Franklin, a senior infielder, was 5 for 13 with two RBIs in the five games, which included two hits and an RBI in three victory over St. Bonaventure in Friday’s tournament opener. Meanwhile, Heritage graduate Callie Alford had five hits and reached base in seven of her 17 plate appearances. Alford, a junior catcher, had two hits in each of the Panthers’ first two games, and drove in the loss to Stanford drove in the only run with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly.

Franklin, in her second season with Georgia State after transferring from Chattanooga State Community College, is hitting .333 (17 of 51) with seven RBIs and a perfect, 4 for 4 in stolen bases attempts in 16 games. Alford, a preseason all-Sun Belt Conference selection, is hitting .285 (14 of 49) and has reached base 18 times in 50 plate appearances.

Georgia State (11-6) will take a week off before heading to Clifton, South Carolina for a doubleheader with Presbyterian College March 9 starting at 1 pm.