Bluffton 5, Capital 2
March 19, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A second straight late-game rally had the Beavers on the verge of a sweep at Capital University on Thursday, March 19, but with one out in the top of the fifth and the Beavers up 6-3 thanks to a six-run fourth, the nightcap was called due to darkness. Bluffton scored four times in the sixth inning of game one for a come-from-behind 5-2 win over the Crusaders in the only game that made it into the season scorebook. Bluffton improved to 8-7 as the Beavers snapped a six-game skid, while Capital slipped to 8-5.
A Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) single in the fourth inning was the only offense Bluffton could muster through the first five frames, but a four-run outburst in the sixth proved to be the difference as the Beavers took a 4-2 lead over the home Crusaders. A leadoff walk to Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) followed by a Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) single put two runners on for McElroy who finally got Bluffton on the scoreboard with her base knock to center field. Kuzara and McElroy each moved up 60 feet on a double steal, setting the stage for Brittany Huff's (Clayton/Northmont) two-run single to center. Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) singled home Huff for a 4-2 lead.
Knippen and Kuzara sandwiched singles around a Muffo groundout in the seventh, making the score 5-2 when Knippen crossed the dish with an insurance tally. Chloe Shell (Covington) then set the Crusaders down in order to give the Beavers their first win since day four in Florida.
Shell improved to 4-3 after scattering seven hits in a complete-game effort. She fanned three and walked three while inducing 10 groundouts in the victory. Kuzara and McElroy paced the Bluffton offense with two hits apiece, while Huff drove in two runs. Freshman Carly Levindofske (Brunswick/Magnificat) drew a pair of walks in her three trips to the plate.
Brittany Baker (Springboro) and McElroy had Bluffton ready for the sweep with two hits apiece as the Beavers used a six-run barraqge in the fourth to erase a 3-0 Capital advantage. With Bluffton in hurry-up mode, darkness won out in the end, rendering the four innings of game two nothing more than an expensive practice session.
Bluffton will look to carry its momentum over into Saturday when the Beavers travel to Alma College for a doubleheader at Coach Bruder's Alma mater. The first contest is slated for 1 p.m.