Beavers move to 6-2 with Thursday sweep
March 9, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - After a day of relaxation in the heart of Central Florida, the Bluffton University softball team got right back to work, facing a pair of talented teams on Thursday, March 9. The morning kicked off with a 6-1 win against Widener College and then a 3-0 shutout of Penn State-Altoona in the afternoon.
Bluffton went up 1-0 in the first inning after CARLY LEVINDOFSKE (Brunswick/Magnificat) picked up KELSEY REEDER (Galion/Northmor) with an RBI single through the left side. The Beavers made quick business in the bottom of the inning and went right back to work at the plate. The momentum stayed with Bluffton as they scored three runs thanks to a double down the left field line from BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont). JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) followed up Huff’s double with a two-run bomb, making it 6-0 midway through the second frame. The bats went silent until the final inning when the Pride scored their lone run of the game following back-to-back doubles as Bluffton marched on to a 6-1 win.
Brittany Huff continued her hot hitting to start the season as the junior went 2-of-2, the only Beaver to connect for multiple hits. Kelsey Reeder crossed home plate twice and Josie McElroy crushed her third home run of the season.
Senior hurler EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) improved to 3-1 after limiting Widener to one run on five hits. Tossing 112 pitches in her complete-game effort, Scupholm set down five batters and walked just two.
Bluffton and Penn State-Altoona went scoreless through the first two innings of game two. The Beavers chipped the scoreboard in the bottom of the third after a beautiful squeeze bunt by JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) sent MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) scurrying home. CHELSEA ZOLTOWSKI (Sylvania/Southview) smacked an RBI single an inning later to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Beavers.
Bluffton picked up an insurance run when Josie McElroy smoked an RBI single to right center, plating Brittany Huff for a 3-0 spread in the bottom of the fifth. A superb effort on the mound was key as Jessie Madzia picked up her first win of the season and Bluffton improved to 6-2 on the year.
The Beavers rapped nine hits in the contest as Josie McElroy, Chelsea Zoltowski, and MERCEDES BURNS (Ashtabula/Edgewood) each connected for two safeties against Altoona. Makenzie Schmidt, Huff and McElroy all scored for Bluffton.
Needing only 93 pitches, Jessie Madzia had a very impressive outing as she allowed just three hits and tossed her first shutout of the season in the process. Madzia fired a pair of strikeouts in the 3-0 victory.
Bluffton will close out its trip to Florida on Friday when the Beavers face Westminster at 11:15 a.m. before a 1:30 p.m. showdown with Beloit. Both games will be played on Oren Brown Field 1.