Beavers drop two on opening day
March 4, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball squad kicked off its 2018 campaign against the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets and Penn State Berks at the Sunkissed Games in Kissimmee, Florida. The B-W offense and miscues by Bluffton sent the Yellow Jackets to a 6-2 victory in game one. A late game surge by Penn State Berks led to a 3-1 defeat for the Beavers as they stand 0-2 after day one.
The Yellow Jackets jumped on the board quickly after a pair of runs put them up 2-0 entering the bottom of the first. The score remained 2-0 until the top of the fourth when an RBI by SAMI MINOR made it 3-0.
Bluffton got its offense going in the bottom of the fourth when senior CHELSEA ZOLTOWSKI (Sylvania) smacked a double to right center that plated CAYLIN MORSTADT (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) and BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont). However, the Yellow Jackets would answer with two runs in the fourth after a couple of miscues by the Beavers and a MACY LEACH sacrifice fly allowed Baldwin Wallace to push it to 5-2 after four frames.
Baldwin Wallace added one more in the top of the seventh thanks to a Beaver error. A leadoff double by Chelsea Zoltowski was all Bluffton could muster in the home half as three straight outs led to a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Yellow Jackets.
Chelsea Zoltowski was a cool 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a pair of doubles. MERCEDES BURNS (Ashtabula/Edgewood), COURTNEY JASINSKI (Edgewood/Northmont) and MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) rounded out the offense as each notched a hit in game one.
Bluffton struggled in the field, committing four errors that led to three unearned runs. JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) fanned four batters as the senior went the distance.
The Beavers were right back in action less than 20 minutes later as they moved diamonds to face off against Penn State Berks in the second game of the day. Bluffton would get the ball rolling in the second with singles by sophomores MEGAN HILL (Arcadia) and Courtney Jasinski. The Beavers were unable to score despite loading the bases as they entered the bottom of the second notched at 0-0.
In the bottom of the third Caylin Morstadt singled home Makenzie Schmidt, giving the Beavers their first lead of the day. The 1-0 score held up until the sixth inning when the Nittany Lions took advantage of a couple hits a dropped fly for a 3-1 lead. Bluffton went down without a whimper in the seventh as Berks moved to 1-1 on the season.
Leading the Beavers was Courtney Jasinski who rapped two hits in the contest. Caylin Morstadt had an RBI, while Makenzie Schmidt scored a run. Although Bluffton took the defeat, they finished with two more hits (7-5) in the contest.
Senior NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) allowed two earned runs on five hits in 6.0 innings of work with four walks.
Bluffton will be back at the field on Monday, March 5, at 3:45 p.m. when they face Bridgewater with Lebanon Valley to follow in the second game of the day.