Bluffton sweeps Anderson
Beavers clinch HCAC tournament berth with sweep of Anderson
April 26, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team clinched a berth in the upcoming Heartland Conference tournament and will play for a share of the regular season championship when it travels to Hanover on Sunday, April 27, 2008. The Beavers swept pre-season favorite Anderson in a pair of pitching duels on Saturday, April 26. With the victories, Bluffton improved to 23-15 overall and 11-3 in the HCAC, while the Ravens fell to 16-22 with a 9-7 mark in conference play.
Bluffton 3, Anderson 1
Anderson took a 1-0 lead over Bluffton in the top of the second inning when Kelly Thompson doubled home Gretchen Louzon with one out.
The Beavers tied the contest with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) singled with two outs and she came around when Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) laced her first triple of the season down the right field line.
Following two scoreless frames for both teams, Bluffton did its damage with a pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the sixth. Miller led off the inning with her 10th homer of the season to left center field. Two outs late Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) cranked her first long-ball of the season just inside the fair pole down the left field line for a 3-1 Bluffton lead.
Brooke Babcock (Findlay/Findlay) set the Ravens down in order to secure the Bluffton victory. She was outstanding in the circle, limiting Anderson to just one run on three hits in seven innings of work while picking up her 11th victory of the season. Babcock allowed only one hit over the last five innings and fanned 10 batters with no walks.
Kenney was a perfect 3-of-3 at the plate with her solo shot in the sixth inning. Lindsey Miller and Mollie Brown (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) both collected two hits and Miller drove in a pair of runs.
Bluffton 2, Anderson 1
All of the runs scored in game two crossed the plate in the fourth inning. Anderson scored its only run of the contest when Erin Garrity doubled home Brittany Lane with no outs in the frame. Kenney slammed the door shut with three straight outs and the Beavers answered with two runs in the home half of the inning. Abby Snider (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) knotted the game with a leadoff homer down the left field line. After an intentional walk to Jayme Marbaugh loaded the bases, Gretchen Handley (Ashland/Ashland) picked up the game-winning RBI with her bases-loaded walk.
Despite leaving 16 runners stranded in six innings, Bluffton completed the sweep thanks to the Beavers' second masterful piching performance of the day. Kellie Kenney improved to 12-4 after giving up one run on seven hits in seven innings on the mound.
Brown, Marbaugh, Snider and Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) all collected multiple in the game two victory.
Bluffton closes regular season action when it travels to Hanover College on Sunday, April 27, 2008. The Beavers are assured of the second seed in the upcoming HCAC tournament that will be hosted by Rose-Hulman starting on Friday, May 2. Bluffton can clich a share of the regular season championship with a pair of wins over the Panthers on Sunday.