Beavers down Manchester in HCAC opener
May 1, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - A big six-run second inning sparked the Bluffton University softball team to a 6-1 opening round victory over Manchester University at the HCAC Tournament in Anderson, Ind. Bluffton senior hurler Chloe Shell (Covington) threw six shutout innings in the victory. The Beavers improved to 26-14, while the Spartans dropped to 16-16.
The Beaver offensive explosion occurred in the second inning, as three straight base hits led off the inning to load the bases. After two fielders’ choices, Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) ripped a base hit into center field for a 2-0 lead. Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) followed with another single up the middle to score two more before Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) drove a 3-1 offering over the right center field fence to cap the six-run second.
Shell gave up her only hit and a walk in the second, but went on to retire 13 straight batters to finish her six innings of work, allowing just one hit for the game. Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) came on in the seventh and surrendered a solo home run to Mackenzie Williams, but that was not enough as the Beavers stayed in the winners' bracket with the 6-1 victory.
Shell improved to 13-6 on the season while giving up one hit and four walks with two strikeouts. Kolezynski gave up one run in one inning of work. Brittany Baker (Springboro) was the only Beaver with a multi-hit game, going 2-of-3.
Bluffton was forced to forfeit its 6-5 victory over Anderson following a rules infraction. The Beavers will play Hanover at 11 a.m. for the opportunity to take on Anderson University in the HCAC championship game.