Bluffton splits pair at Otterbein
April 21, 2014
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - A six-run fifth spelled doom for the Bluffton University softball team in game one, but freshman Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) took care of Otterbein University in the finale, tossing a four-hit shutout as the Beavers won 4-0. Bluffton moved to 23-13 on the season while Otterbein stands 13-18 following the split on Monday, April 21.
Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) reached on an error, stole second, moved up 60 feet on a groundout and scored on a passed ball to put Bluffton up 1-0 in the third. Otterbein came back with single tallies in the bottom of the third and fourth before junior Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) doubled home senior Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) to knot the game at two midway through the fifth.
The home team rallied for six runs on seven hits before the dust settled in the bottom of the inning as Otterbein forged a commanding 8-2 lead. Weitz led off the seventh with her third dinger of the season, but the Cardinals worked around another Kuzara single as Otterbein took the lidlifter by that 8-3 count.
Kuzara finished the game 3-of-4 with an RBI, while Weitz went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Junior Chloe Shell (Covington) fell to 10-7 after allowing eight runs, six earned, on 10 hits in five innings of work. She struck out three, walked one and hit three batters.
Emily Scupholm gave Bluffton all it could ask for and then some in the finale, allowing just one hit through the first four innings as the Beavers opened up a 3-0 spread. All three of those runs came in the fourth when Bluffton took advantage of four hits and an Otterbein error. Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) had the crucial rip, a two-run double to center that plated Brittany Baker (Springboro) and Jess Kuzara for a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) followed with an RBI single that sent Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) scurrying home.
Knippen picked up senior Shelby Erford (Paulding) with her two-bagger to the wall in right center in the seventh and Scupholm set the Cardinals down in order to cap the 4-0 shutout.
Katie Musgrave (Doylestown/Chippewa) and Knippen both finished with two hits while Bondra and Knippen checked in with two RBI apiece. Scupholm allowed just four hits, fanned three and walked two while improving to 9-2 with her fifth complete game and third shutout of the season.
Bluffton stays with an Ohio Athletic Conference theme on Wednesday when the Beavers wrap up their 2014 regular season with Capital. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m. at Bluffton Field as the seniors play their final games in Allen County. Come support your Beavers as they prepare for the upcoming Heartland Conference tournament that kicks off on Friday, May 2, at the home site of the regular season champions.