Bluffton takes a pair from Manchester
Beavers rally in game one and finish sweep with mercy-rule win
April 5, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team fell behind 9-5 in game one,
but the Beavers rallied back, scoring five runs in the sixth inning to win 10-9 against
Heartland Conference rival Manchester College. The second game the Beavers scored
in four of the six innings and won 9-1 for a mercy-rule victory over the Spartans.
Bluffton improved to 12-11 overall and 5-3 in the HCAC, while the Spartans fell to
9-17 on the season and 1-5 in the conference.
In the first inning Bluffton put up two runs on a Shelby Erford (Paulding) home run. In the fourth inning Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) doubled to center field. Freshman Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) homered to right field in just her third at-bat as a Beaver. Then freshman Paige Gerdeman (Columbus Grove) followed with another home run, also her first collegiate long ball as the home team went up 5-2.
An inning later Manchester scored six runs on four hits and two errors. Freshman third baseman Danielle Howell hit a grand slam following back-to-back miscues by the Beavers, making the score 8-5. An Amy Hommema solo shot in the top of the sixth gave the Spartans a commanding 9-5 lead.
In the home half of the sixth the Beavers rallied back, scoring five runs on five
hits for the come-from-behind victory. Gerdeman and Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) sandwiched base hits around a walk to Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) before Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) delivered a two-run single up the middle. Ashley Manusos (Spring Grove, IL) continued the trend of first career homers with a two-run bomb
to left center which knotted the game at nine. With Erford in scoring position, Emily
Manahan's two-bagger to the wall in right center put the Beavers on top.
Chelsie Osborne went a perfect 3-of-3 at the plate with two RBI. Emily Manahan finished with two hits and one RBI. Paige Gerdeman scored twice, adding two hits and one RBI. Stevie Cuttitta (Columbiaville, MI/Cilo) picked up the win, tossing 3.0 innings of relief and giving up four runs, just one earned.
In game two the Beavers dominated, scoring nine runs on nine hits to sweep the Spartans in HCAC action. In the first inning, Ashley Manusos triple to right field picked up Meagan Price who drew a leadoff walk. Erford's squeeze bunt plated Manusos and Manahan followed with an RBI single up the middle.
In the second inning Bluffton added two more runs to go ahead 5-1 thanks to an Osborne double to right center. The Beavers scored two runs in the fifth before a two-run double by Nikitas ended the contest with one out in the sixth frame.
Cuttitta picked up her second win of the day, improving her record to 5-3. She went six innings and allowed just one run on seven hits with four strikeouts. Manusos went 3-of-3 at the plate, scoring three times and adding one RBI. Price, Osborne and Erford all scored two runs.
The Beavers travel to Ohio Wesleyan on Thursday, April 7, for a non-conference matchup. The first game is slated for 3:30 p.m.