Madonna takes two at Bluffton
April 18, 2014
By: Josh Burkholder, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team faced a tough non-conference opponent on Good Friday, April 18, 2014, falling in both games to Madonna University. The opener ended with a score of 6-2, and the nightcap, 8-5. Bluffton fell to 20-12 overall, while Madonna improved to 30-7 overall.
The first three innings of game one was a pitchers' duel, as the scoreboard was full of zeros. Madonna scored one run in the third and three more in the top of the sixth to take a 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, though, Bluffton attempted to rally back when BRITTANY BAKER (Springboro) singled up the middle with two outs. JESS KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) stepped up to the plate next and connected for a no doubt two-run homer which cut the Madonna lead to two.
The Crusaders scored two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, and then Bluffton had two runners on but could not manufacture any runs in the bottom of the inning as Madonna wrapped up the 6-2 win.
CHLOE SHELL (Covington) was superb against a potent offense that had a team batting average of .348 entering the day, only allowing one run and striking out six in five innings of work. However, she fell to 9-6 on the season following the loss.
Bluffton only mustered six safeties in the contest and Baker was the only Beaver with a multi-hit game, going 2-of-3 with a run scored. Kuzara was 1-of-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
In the second game of the day, Bluffton got on the scoreboard first with three consecutive singles by Baker, Kuzara, and EMILY KOLEZYNSKI (Strongsville), with Kolezynski notching the RBI. Madonna regained the lead with two in the top of the second, but Bluffton took it right back in the bottom of the inning with a two-run shot by junior ARIANA MUFFO (New Athens,Ill), scoring ASHLEY KNIPPEN (Wapakoneta) in the process.
Madonna scored one run in the third, and then had a big inning in the fourth with five runs (just two earned), due in part to three Beaver errors, adding up to an 8-3 score. Bluffton attempted a comeback in the bottom of the fifth when Muffo hit her second home run of the game, this time a solo shot to straightaway center field. Baker followed with a double and then Kuzara knocked her in with an RBI single. The rest of the game was scoreless, however, giving Madonna the 8-5 victory.
EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) fell to 7-2 on the mound, going four innings and giving up eight runs, four earned. Senior KAYLA OWENS (Cincinnati/McAuley) pitched well over the final three innings, only surrendering one hit and no runs.
Bluffton had three players with multiple hits in the nightcap. Muffo went 2-of-4 with the two home runs and three RBI, Baker had two hits and two runs scored, and Kuzara finished with three hits and an RBI.
Bluffton is back in action again tomorrow (April 19) with a doubleheader against Heartland Conference rival Hanover at 1 p.m. It is also Parents Day at the softball diamond, so come support your Beavers!