Alma sweeps Bluffton in home opener
March 18, 2016
By: Jared Sleutz, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Alma College rolled to an 11-1 mercy-rule victory in game one and then rallied from an early 3-1 deficit for an 8-4 victory in the nightcap. The Scots improved to 13-5 on the season, while Bluffton slipped to 6-6 following the sweep on Friday, March 18, 2016.
An eight-run third that staked Alma to an 11-0 lead featured just five hits but also three Bluffton errors as the Scots took advantage of each Beaver miscue.
Bluffton scored its only run of the contest in the home half of the fifth when Makenzie Schmidt (Caledonia/River Valley) ripped a one-out double to the wall in right center and Chelsea Zoltowski (Sylvania/Southview) followed with an RBI single up the middle. Walks to Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) and Kelsey Reeder (Galion/Northmor) sent Alma Head Coach Denny Griffin to the bullpen where he found starter Morgan Stratton who got the final out to nail down the victory.
Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) fell to 2-4 after allowing nine runs, just five earned, on seven hits in 2.1 innings of work. Jessie Madzia (Masillon/Tuslaw) fanned four over the final 2.2 innings. She gave up two unearned runs and did not walk a batter.
The Beavers jumped on top 3-1 in the first inning of game two thanks to a Kelsi Wilson (Pataskala/Licking Heights) RBI double and a two-run laser over the wall in center by Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown).
Alma wasted no time formulating an answer as the Scots went up 4-3 with three runs in the top of the second. Another tally in the third made the score 5-3 in favor of the visitors.
McElroy singled home Brittany Huff (Clayton/Northmont) in the home half of the third, making it a one-run game, but the visitors tacked on three more scores in the fifth for an 8-4 spread and Stratton did the rest. She set 11 straight Beavers down to end the game and earn her second victory of the day.
Pacing the Bluffton offense was Josie McElroy who went 2-of-3 with three RBI and a homer. Nicole Thomas (Tontogany/Otsego) suffered her first loss of the season (2-1) after allowing eight runs on 14 its in 4.2 innings of work. She struck out three and did not issue a walk. Madzia worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Beavers within striking distance.
Bluffton will lick its wounds and jump right back into action on Saturday, March 19, when the Beavers welcome Capital University for a doubleheader.