Bluffton splits series at Alma
March 21, 2015
ALMA, Mich. - The Bluffton University softball team split a pair of two-run games at Alma on Saturday, March 21, 2015. The Beavers took game one by a 3-1 count before the home Scots returned the favor, 4-2, in the nightcap. Bluffton stands 9-8, while Alma moved to 9-9 on the season. It marked the first Bluffton victory against Alma since a 1-0 road shutout in 2009 and only the third win ever over the Scots.
Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) and Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill) took advantage of back-to-back Alma errors in the first inning, both crossing the dish for an early 2-0 lead. Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) ripped an RBI single for the visitors in the opening frame.
Two innings later, Ariana Muffo led off with a two-bagger to right center. Freshman Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) made it 3-0 with her RBI single up the middle. The Bluffton hurlers kept Alma off the scoreboard until the Scots hit a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the seventh. Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) induced a game-ending groundout to ice her first save of the season.
Senior ace Chloe Shell (Covington) improved to 5-3 thanks to four shutout innings in which she allowed five hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Kolezynski worked to just 11 batters over the final three innings to close it out for the Beavers. Carly Levindofske (Brunswick/Magnificat) and Brittany Huff (Clayton/Northmont) were both 2-of-3 in game one, while Muffo scored twice.
Bluffton jumped on top again in game two when Levindofske doubled home Kuzara and McElroy for a 2-0 lead, all with two outs. Alma responded with a pair of scores in the home half, knotting the score at 2-2.
A bases loaded walk to Alma made it 3-2 in the fifth and the home team added an insurance tally in the sixth as the Scots held Bluffton's offense in check for a 4-2 win and series split.
McElroy and Kuzara finished with two hits apiece, while Levindofske drove in a pair of runs. Jessie Madzia (Massillon/Tuslaw) slipped to 2-3 after allowing four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work. She walked three and fanned four in the loss.
Bluffton travels to Heidelberg University on Tuesday, March 24, for a doubleheader with the Student Princes. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.