#7 Trine sweeps pair at Bluffton
March 18, 2015
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team gave national-power Trine University all it wanted in game one before the Thunder bats came alive in the nightcap on a chilly Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Trine pulled out a 7-4 victory in the lidlifter and capped the sweep with a five-inning 14-4 win. Bluffton fell to 7-7 on the season, while the #7 Thunder upped its mark to 14-1.
Trine went up 1-0 in the top of the first, but Bluffton had an answer when freshman Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) followed Jess Kuzara's (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) two-bagger to center with an RBI single to right field in the home half.
The third inning saw both teams put up solo runs as senior backstop Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill./New Athens) launched a two-out bomb to center field, knotting the game at two.
Kaitlyn Clark made the score 5-2 an inning later when she drilled a three-run shot to left. The Thunder added a tally in the sixth for a 6-2 lead, but the Beavers stayed within striking distance thanks to two runs on three hits and a Trine error in the bottom of the frame. Muffo scored courtesy of a Trine miscue and Brittany Baker (Springboro) pushed her bunt to the right side for an infield single that sent Kuzara scurrying home. Back-to-back Trine safeties in the seventh gave the visitors a 7-4 victory as Bluffton managed just a two-out walk in the home half.
Kuzara and Muffo combined for four of Bluffton's seven hits and they both scored twice. Senior Chloe Shell (Covington) was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs on nine hits in a complete-game effort. She fanned three and issued six free passes.
Down 8-0 midway through the second inning, game two starter Jessie Madzia (Massillon/Tuslaw) helped herself with a two-run bomb to center following a Carly Levindofske (Brunswick/Magnificat) one-out double. Tessa Grooms (Washington Court House/Miami Trace) picked up Brittany Huff (Clayton/Northmont) with a single up the middle, making the score 8-3 heading to the third.
Another Trine outburst put the game on ice when the Thunder rolled off five tallies in the top of the fourth. Brittany Baker doubled to lead off the bottom of the inning and she came around to score following a pair of groundouts, but it was too little, too late as Trine added another score in the fifth, capping off the 14-4 mercy-rule victory over the Beavers.
Madzia fell to 2-2 on the year in spite of her three RBI at the dish. She gave up eight runs, four earned, on four hits with three walks in two innings of work.
Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) and Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) combined to toss the final three innings. Kolezynski surrendered five runs in two innings and Scupholm allowed one run with two strikeouts.
The Beavers jump right back into action when they travel to Columbus for a pair of meetings with Capital University on Thursday, March 19. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.