Bluffton caps off Florida with 7-3 mark
March 10, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team took on Westminster College and Beloit College in its final day down in Florida. Bluffton dropped the first game of the afternoon, 6-5, to Westminster, despite having the bases loaded in the last inning. However, the Beavers came back with flurry in game two as they routed Beloit 14-2 in five innings. Bluffton finished the trip with a 7-3 mark as they head back home to Ohio.
Bluffton took a 1-0 lead in the first inning following a bases-loaded walk to KELSI WILSON (Pataskala/Licking Heights) that pushed BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont) across the dish. Both teams were quiet until a two-run fourth inning by the Titans gave Westminster a 2-1 advantage.
Bluffton answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2 after an RBI triple by KELSEY REEDER (Galion/Northmor). The Beavers would then go up 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to an RBI double by CARLY LEVINDOFSKE (Brunswick/Magnificat).
Bluffton trailed 4-3 after Westminster added two runs in the sixth, but a wild pitch and an RBI two-bagger from JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) made it 5-4 heading to the seventh. Westminster continued their late-game heroics with tallies in the top of the frame. Down 6-5, the Beavers were unable to get it done despite loading the bases with one out.
Kelsi Wilson led the charge, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Kelsey Reeder and junior Carly Levindofske each notched a pair of hits in the outing. Josie McElroy had two RBI in the 6-5 setback
JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) took the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the year. Madzia allowed one run off three hits. NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) went 6.0 innings, tossing just 61 pitches as Westminster put up five runs on nine hits against the junior.
Bluffton opened up game two as hot as fire, blitzing Beloit with nine runs in the first inning! The inning was highlighted by a Josie McElroy two-run blast, giving her four dingers this season. Junior Kelsi Wilson also hit a triple that picked up two Beavers.
The Buccaneers would score two runs of their own to make the score 9-2 after one. Bluffton added three tallies in the third, two of which came on a Josie McElroy single up the middle. The Beavers weren’t done scoring as the visitors on the scoreboard finished off the top of the fourth frame with two more runs for a comfortable 14-2 lead. Bluffton shut Beloit down in the fifth to wrap up the 14-2 mercy-rule victory in the final game from Kissimmee.
The Beavers tallied a season-high 16 hits in the Florida finale. Kelsi Wilson continued her torrid afternoon at the plate, going 4-of-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. She finished the day 6-of-7 at the dish! Josie McElroy also piled up four RBI and two hits. Reeder added two safeties of her own and crossed home plate twice.
The Buccaneers struggled to get anything going against EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) as the senior improved to 4-1 on the season. Netting just 79 pitches in the shortened contest, Scupholm fanned three batters while allowing only two runs on four hits.
The Beavers will head back north and prepare to face Capital on Wednesday, March 15, at 3:30 p.m. to start a three-game road trip before the home opener with Adrian on Friday, March 24.