Beavers drop HCAC opener to Transylvania
March 29, 2015
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - It was a windy Sunday afternoon as the Beavers welcomed the Transylvania Pioneers for their first HCAC series of the season. Bluffton dropped a pair of tight contests, falling to 9-12 overall and 0-2 in the Heartland Conference, while Transylvania improved to 9-8 and 4-0 in the HCAC.
Transylvania was first to get on the board as they scored a run in the opening inning to make the score 1-0. An ARIANA MUFFO (New Athens, Ill/New Athens) triple in the third plated ASHLEY KNIPPEN (Wapakoneta) while knotting the score at 1-1. A single by JESSICA KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich/Huron) scored Muffo to put Bluffton up, 2-1. Freshman JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) rounded out the inning's scoring, notching a two-bagger which plated Kuzara.
Each team scored in the fourth inning to make it 4-2. Bluffton got its run when JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) belted a solo shot to left field. Transylvania burst out of the gate in the fifth inning as they tallied five runs to make the score 7-4. Bluffton was able to answer with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Kuzara scored on a throwing error after a single by CARLY LEVINDOFSKE (Brunswick/Magnificat).
The Beavers got another run in the sixth on a wild pitch, but Transylvania held on for the 7-6 victory.
Madzia collected three strikeouts, while allowing five runs off six hits as the loss dropped her to 2-5 on the season. Senior EMILY KOLEZYNSKI (Strongsville) tossed 1.2 innings with a strikeout and two runs off three hits.
Leading the Beavers at the plate was Ashley Knippen who went 2-for-3 and scored twice for Bluffton. BRITTANY BAKER (Springsboro) and Jessica Kuzara each went 2-for-4 at the dish.
Each team etched a run in the first inning to make the score 1-1. After the Pioneers collected a run in the top of the third, Bluffton got a double from Jessica Kuzara to score Brittany Baker. Two more runs in the third inning made the score 4-2 in Bluffton’s favor. The home team added two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Jessica Kuzara went yard following a walk to Muffo.
The Beavers saw their lead quickly evaporate in the fifth inning after Transylvania scored five runs, with four coming on a grand slam. Two more runs by the Pioneers in the top of the seventh made the score 9-6. The Beavers were unable to convert in the bottom of the seventh as they mustered just one paltry hit over the final three innings with Transy completing a sweep of the home team.
In her five innings of work, Chloe Shell (Covington) fanned three batters, walked three and allowed four runs. EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) took the loss, falling to 1-3 on the year as she went 2.0 innings, allowing five runs off three hits while notching two strikeouts.
Jessica Kuzara was hot at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and she scored twice. Also powering Bluffton's offense were Brittany Baker and Josie McElroy who each went 2-for-4 in game two.
After five consecutive losses, Bluffton will look to right the ship when the Beavers travel to face Olivet on Wednesday, April 1 at 3:30 p.m.