Beavers sweep day three at Rebel Spring Games
March 8, 2016
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team was back at if for their third straight day of ball, starting with Head Coach Marissa McDaniel’s alma mater, the Marietta Pioneers, at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8. After a slow start, the Beavers were able to pick up their second straight win thanks to a great third inning. The Pioneers dipped to 3-6 on the season following the loss. Bluffton continued to show progress in the second game of day, rolling over Husson (Maine) 9-2 for a third straight victory and 3-3 mark on the season.
The Pioneers jumped out to a quick start after an RBI single in the first inning that gave the visitors on the scoreboard a 1-0 lead. After a leadoff triple in the top of the third for Marietta, Bluffton was able to slam the door thanks to solid defensive play and a inning-ending strikeout for junior EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Heights/Our Lady of the Elms).
The Beavers notched three runs in the bottom of the inning after sophomore slugger JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) crushed one to deep center for her first home run of the season. In the bottom of the fifth, Bluffton made the score 4-1 when McElroy hit a double to left, scoring JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) after her two-bagger down the left field line. Scupholm continued her magic in the circle, holding the Pioneers hitless over the final three frames en route of the 4-1 victory in Coach McDaniel's reunion game.
Josie McElroy led Bluffton at the plate as she collected two hits in her three at bats, including a double and a bomb. McElroy notched all four Beaver RBI for the contest. MERCEDES BURNS (Ashtabula/Edgewood) and BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont) each poked two hits in the win.
Tossing her third straight complete-game gem was Emily Scupholm who got stronger as the game moved along, allowing only one unearned run on three hits in her 7.0 innings of work. She threw 109 pitches, fanning eight batters while walking three. It marked Scupholm's her first win of the season after two hard-luck losses. The junior has fashioned a sparkling 0.98 ERA in 21.1 innings of work over the past three days!
The Beavers hit the field 30 minutes later when they faced the Husson University Eagles. Bluffton had an offensive outburst, scoring nine runs off 13 hits en route of their 9-2 victory over the Eagles. The win moved Bluffton to 3-3 on the season while Husson slipped to 1-4.
The Beavers dented the scoreboard first in the second inning when Brittany Huff picked up Josie McElroy on a two-run shot to right center. MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) made it 4-0 when her triple down the left field line scored KELSI WILSON (Pataskala/Licking Heights) and ABIGAIL BLAKE (Lancaster/Fairfield Union). Bluffton capped the inning after MOLLY HABERMAN (Port Clinton) plated Schmidt on an RBI single up the gut.
After two scoreless innings, Bluffton tacked on three runs in the top of the fifth. Josie McElroy picked up an RBI after scorching a double down the left field line. Abigail Blake and CHELSEA ZOLTOWSKI (Sylvania/Southview) each connected with scoring hits to make it an 8-0 ballgame. The Eagles scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-run double which cut Bluffton’s lead to 8-2.
Bluffton added a run to make the score 9-2 in the seventh after McElroy hit a solo blast to right field. Madzia set down Husson without a run as the Beavers paraded their way to a 9-2 win.
Josie McElroy led Bluffton offensively, piling up three hits, including two doubles and a homer, along with three RBI in game two. Molly Haberman, Abigail Blake and Jessie Madzia each connected with two hits and they combined for three RBI.
Madzia also picked up her first win on the hill, moving to 1-1 on the season. Going all 7.0 innings, Madzia allowed only two runs off five Eagles hits. With 119 pitches thrown, Madzia collected five whiffs on the day.
Bluffton will have a day off for sun and fun before going back to work on Thursday, March 10, when the Beavers face Montclair State at 9 a.m. and then Thomas More with an approximate 11:15 a.m. first pitch. The games will both be staged at OCSC Field 5 and you can follow all the action from Florida on our Twitter page @bluffton_sports.