Bluffton sweeps pair at Rose-Hulman
April 4, 2015
By: Ryan Ebbeskotte, sports information assistant
TERRE, HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team took the lead early against the Rose-Hulman Fighting Engineers on Saturday, April 5, and never looked back as the Beavers came away with two huge victories on the afternoon. Bluffton improved to 15-12 on the season and 2-2 in the HCAC, while Rose-Hulman stands at 13-5 and 2-2 in the HCAC.
ARIANA MUFFO (New Athens, Ill.) opened the game with a leadoff double and she trotted home on a long ball by JESS KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron), giving the Beavers a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Bluffton exploded for eight runs on eight hits in the second frame. ASHLEY KNIPPEN (Wapakoneta) and JO BONDRA (Highland Heights/Mayfield) had two hits apiece in the inning, including a three-run home run by Bondra, her first of the season. BRITTANY BAKER (Springboro) also pitched in with a two-run double that gave the Beavers a commanding 10-0 lead after two innings.
Bluffton added three more runs in the third. After singles by Kuzara and JOSIE MCELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown), CARLY LEVINDOFSKE (Rocky River/Magnificat) sent one deep over the fence in left field for a 13-0 lead which became the final when the Engineers were unable to crack the scoreboard in the mercy-rule victory for the Beavers
CHLOE SHELL (Covington) picked up the win in the first game with six strikeouts, improving to 7-4 on the season. She walked two and scattered five hits over five innings.
The Beavers picked up right where they left off in the second game of the day. Kuzara hit a solo home run in the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. Knippen gave Bluffton another run as she hit paydirt with a solo shot of her own in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Kuzara continued her domination of opposing pitching when she connected with a solo shot once again. JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) got in on the action with a two-run homer as well to put Bluffton up 5-0. Madzia wasn't done as she helped her cause again when she homered in the seventh. Rose-Hulman scratched out one unearned run in the bottom half of the inning, making the final score 6-1.
Madzia secured the win in the circle as she went all seven innings with eight strikeouts while improving to 4-5 on the season. The freshman limited Rose to three hits and gave up just one walk.
Kuzara and McElroy both finished the day going 5-for-8 at the plate, while Bondra went 5 for 6. Kuzara hit three of Bluffton's eight home runs in the sweep and Madzia went yard twice.
Bluffton hosts Defiance for a doubleheader on Monday, April 7 with the first game scheduled for 3:30 PM.