Beavers fall to Davenport and Alma
March 14, 2015
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Bluffton University softball team made the long trip to Grand Rapids, Mich., to play a pair of top-notch opponents on Saturday, March 14, 2015. Davenport improved to 15-3 with an 11-0 mercy-rule victory in game one before Alma plated four scores in the top of the seventh for a 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Beavers in their second contest of the afternoon. Bluffton dipped to 7-5 after a day in which the Beavers kicked it around the diamond to the tune of seven errors.
Davenport took advantage of four Bluffton errors in the first two innings as the Panthers rolled to a commanding 7-0 lead. Freshman Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) beat out an infield single with one down in the second, but that was the only hit Bluffton could muster as Davenport continued to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard in the third and fourth frames, adding up to an 11-0 victory when the dust settled midway through the fifth inning.
Senior Chloe Shell (Covington) took the loss after allowing nine runs, five earned, on 10 hits in three innings of work. She struck out two and did not issue a walk while dropping to 3-2 on the season. Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) fanned two Panthers in the bottom of the fourth frame.
Bluffton's fielding woes continued when the Beavers allowed three unearned tallies to Alma in the top of the first inning of game two. The Bluffton offense finally got untracked in the bottom of the second thanks to doubles by Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) and Carly Levindofske (Brunswick/Magnificat). Kuzara and McElroy both crossed the dish on Levindofske's two-bagger down the right field line. Two batters later, Levindofske stole home, knotting the game at 3-3.
McElroy's ground ball to second plated Brittany Baker (Springboro) and Levindofske's single up the middle picked up Kuzara in the bottom of the third for a 5-3 Bluffton lead. The Beavers maintained their two-run advantage until the seventh when Alma used four hits, a pair of walks and a Bluffton error to push four runs across the dish. With two outs Bluffton put two runners on base, but Alma capped off the comeback with a strikeout to secure the 7-5 victory.
Levindofske, who paced the offense with three RBI, went 2-of-3 with a run scored. Kuzara and McElroy chipped in with two safeties apiece. Freshman starter Jessie Madzia (Massillon/Tuslaw) gave up three runs, none earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts but did not factor into the decision. Sophomore Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) surrendered four runs on two hits with two walks in one inning of relief. She dropped to 1-2 on the season.
The Beavers welcome #7 Trine University for the 2015 home opener on Wednesday, March 18, kicking off a busy slate of games that includes trips to Capital on Thursday and Alma on Saturday. The first pitch against the Thunder is slated for 3:30 p.m.