Bluffton moves to 3-1 with Monday sweep
March 6, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team kicked off day two of the Rebel Spring games in Kissimmee, FL, against the Montclair State Red Hawks and the Bridgewater College Eagles. The Beavers took advantage of some late game heroics in the lidlifter, scoring all five of their runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 victory over Montclair! The offense carried that momentum into game two, capping the day with a 9-1 mercy-rule rout of Bridgewater.
Bluffton got off to a slow start against Montclair State as the Red Hawks rapped a couple of hits for a quick 1-0 advantage in the first inning. Montclair State added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning to go up 3-0. The Red Hawks tacked on another run in the top of the seventh for a seemingly comfortable 4-0 spread heading to the home half of the inning.
Bluffton would fight back and get on the board when KELSI WILSON (Pataskala/Licking Heights) notched an RBI single to score fellow junior BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont) from third. Sophomore KELSEY REEDER (Galion/Northmor) grounded out but Chelsea Zoltowski (Sylvania/Southview) crossed the dish making it 4-2 Montclair.
The Beavers pulled within 4-3 when Jessia Madzia's (Massillon/Tuslaw) poke to third was too hot to handle. Freshman CAYLIN MORSTADT (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) singled to center field, scoring MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) and knotting the game at 4-4. JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) crushed a walk-off double to right center, plating pinch runner BRIANNA WEST (Kettering/Fairmont) for the miraculous 5-4 victory!
Leading the offense was Brittany Huff who went 2-of-3, including a double. Schmidt also collected two hits in the victory and scored a run. MOLLY HABERMAN (Port Clinton) and Zoltowski each crossed the dish in game one.
Jessie Madzia started the game for the Beavers and went 4.2 innings, allowing three runs off five hits. NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) closed out the final 2.1 innings, striking out two batters while allowing only one run on two hits as she evened up her record at 1-1.
The Beavers had a short break and then jumped right back into action looking to continue the momentum as they went up 1-0 in the second inning thanks to a bases loaded walk to Schmidt. With Bluffton clinging to a slim 1-0 advantage, Brittany Huff went yard with a two-run shot which plated Kelsey Reeder in the fifth inning. The Beavers would add another run in the fifth inning following an RBI groundout by CARLY LEVINDOFSKE (Brunswick/Magnificat).
Bridgewater took advantage of a pair of singles in the bottom of the frame to make it 4-1, but a five-run Bluffton sixth ended the game in mercy-rule fashion. Kelsi Wilson smacked a two-run single to left before Brittany Huff belted a three-run dinger to left center, her second homer in as many innings! Bridgewater went down without a whimper in the home half, giving Bluffton a 9-1 victory in six innings.
Huff continued her torrid start to the season, going 2-of-4 with two homers and five RBI. She leads the team with 10 runs batted in through the first four games. Josie McElroy added two hits of her own, including her second two-bagger of the season. Kelsey Reeder scored twice as Bluffton improved to 3-1 this year.
On the mound for the Beavers was senior standout EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) who tossed a complete game, allowing only one run on four hits. Scupholm was bringing the fire as she fanned seven batters and walked just two while tossing 110 pitches.
The Beavers will get right back into action Tuesday, March 7, when they face Thomas More at 9 a.m. before taking on Muskingum at 11:15 a.m. Both contests are slated for OCSC Field 4.