Beavers continue to roll in Florida
March 2, 2015
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team made it interesting but the Beavers still came away with their third straight win of the season in walkoff fashion against the Ladies of Kenyon College. The victory helped Bluffton stay perfect at 3-0 to start the season while Kenyon (0-1) dropped its season opener.
Kenyon was first to get on the board as the Ladies scored in the top of the first when a double by CHELSEA DELANEY picked up LINDSEY SUSOLIK. After allowing single runs in both the second and fourth innings, the Beavers answered with a tally of their own off a triple by senior ARIANA MUFFO (New Athens, Ill./New Athens) which scored ASHLEY KNIPPEN (Wapakoneta) making the score 3-1 at the end of the fourth.
Bluffton made it a one-run game at 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth as a MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) RBI single drove home fellow freshman BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont). With two outs and the score 3-2 with no runners on in the bottom of the seventh, freshman JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) nearly went yard as she smoked a double to the wall in left field. Schmidt followed with a slap down the left field line that easily scored Madzia for a 3-3 tie as she cruised into second with a two-bagger. With one swing of the bat, Ashley Knippen laced a walk-off single to left that plated the speedy Schmidt for a 4-3 victory!
The Beavers were led by Knippen who went 3-for-4 with a double and the key RBI that won the game for the Beavers. Also contributing for Bluffton was Makenzie Schmidt who collected two hits and knocked in two runs. Ariana Muffo went 2-for-3 with an RBI-triple.
CHLOE SHELL (Covington) started and went 4.0 innings, fanning three, but allowed three runs on six hits. EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) came on in the fifth, picking up her first win of the season as she fired two strikeouts while limiting Kenyon to just one hit in her 3.0 innings of work.
The York College Spartans were Bluffton’s second victim on the day thanks to a three-run sixth that propelled the Beavers to a 6-3 victory. With the victory, The Beavers remain undefeated at 4-0 to start this season, while the Spartans slipped to 2-2.
Bluffton went up 2-0 after Brittany Huff scored on a Muffo groundout before JESSICA KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) notched an RBI single that plated Makenzie Schmidt. York answered in the bottom of the third with a run of their own after CARLEIGH RULMAN belted a solo homer to make the score 2-1.
Rulman tied it up at two after smacking an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Bluffton then answered with a manufactured run in the fifth inning that made the score 3-2 in favor of the Beavers. Schmidt singled through the left side with one out and while going first to third on Knippen's beauty of a sacrifice bunt, the throw to third went to the fence sending her home.
In the sixth inning, Jessie Madzia picked up Kuzara with a ground ball before freshman JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) blew it open with her base knock up the middle that sent Kuzara and ABIGAIL BLAKE (Lancaster/Fairfield Union) across the dish. With the score 6-2, the Spartans were able to get a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Scupholm slammed the door in the seventh, inducing three straight groundouts to Brittany Baker (Springboro) to secure the 6-3 win.
Makenzie Schmidt and Jessica Kuzara both went 2-for-4 in the afternoon contest, combining for three runs. Ashley Knippen continued to tattoo the ball, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and two sacrifice bunts. Knippen finished the day 5-of-6 with three doubles, raising her batting average to .636 with an unheard of 1.091 slugging percentage thanks to five two-baggers in 11 at bats!
EMILY KOLEZYNSKI (Strongsville) tossed 3.1 innings in her second start of the season with two strikeouts and two walks, allowing two runs on two hits. Jessie Madzia earned the win for her 2.2 innings of relief. Madzia gave up two hits with one strikeout against York. Emily Scupholm needed only nine pitches in the final inning as three straight groundouts helped her to Bluffton's first save of the season.
Bluffton will look to keep the 4-game winning streak alive when they continue their play down in Florida against the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Tuesday, March 3, at 9 a.m. The Beavers take on Wartburg at 11 a.m.