Beavers take down Thomas More
Bluffton snaps three-game skid with 3-2 win over Thomas More
March 6, 2013
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team struggled to put hits together in a 3-0 loss to #5 Roanoke before snapping a three-game losing skid with a 3-2 win over Thomas More on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The Beavers moved to 5-3 with the split heading into their final day at the Rebel Spring Games.
Bluffton managed five hits in game one with freshman Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) going 1-of-1 with a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. Starter Chloe Shell (Covington) fell to 2-2 despite limiting 2012 NCAA Regional champion Roanoke to three runs on seven hits. She struck out one and walked one during her 5.1 innings in the circle.
The Beavers turned it around with a 3-2 win over Thomas More after a two hour wait to get on the diamond. The Saints took advantage of a Bluffton error in the second for a 1-0 lead. Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) belted a 2-2 offering over the wall in right center to knot the game at one in the bottom half of the frame.
Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) put Bluffton up 2-1 an inning later when she singled home Shelby Erfrord (Paulding) who walked to open the frame.
Thomas More tied it back up in the fifth with their second unearned run of the game, but the Beavers took advantage of a hit batter and a walk to plate what turned out to be the winning run. Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield), who shined after moving into the starting lineup, reached on a beautiful bunt single in front of the plate and when the throw scooted away, Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) motored home.
Bondra went 2-of-3 at the dish and Nikitas hit a bomb to lead the Bluffton offense in game two. Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) was outstanding for the second straight day, allowing just two runs, both unearned, while moving to 2-1 this season. She fanned six and walked two hitters in 6.1 innings of work. Shell retired the final two batters for her first save of the year.
The Beavers wrap up their Florida trip with games against Presentation and Aurora on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Game one is slated for 11 a.m. at the Osceola Complex.