ONU 9, Bluffton 4; ONU 6, Bluffton 1
Beavers drop two games to Ohio Northern
By: Molly Burnell, sports information assistant
March 16, 2006
The Bluffton University softball team (6-6, 0-0 HCAC) fell to the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears in two games on Wednesday, March 15, 2006. The Beavers lost the first game 9-4, and were defeated 6-1 in the second contest.
The first inning was an offensive explosion by Bluffton. Freshman leadoff hitter Randi Yeager (Harrison/Harrison) walked before a Michelle Motter (Lakeview/Indian Lake) bunt put runners at first and second. Junior Carrie Weisbecker (Okeana/Ross) stepped to the plate and launched a double to score Yeager and Motter, making the score 2-0 in favor of Bluffton. Sophomore Amanda Harris (Greenville/Greenville) walked. Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) grounded out to second, but she was able to move Wiesbecker to third and Harris to second. Freshman Gretchen Handley (Ashland/Ashland) reached on a passed ball and Weisbecker scored giving the Beavers a 3-0 advantage. With Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanual Baptist) at the plate, Handley drew a throw from the catcher allowing Harris to score the Beavers fourth run of the inning before the Polar Bears tagged Handley to get out of the inning.
In the bottom half of the first inning, Jamie Drees singled to right field to put a Polar Bear on base for a Jenny Plunket double. Plunket's double scored Drees and put ONU on the board. Defense was key in the next few innings as neither team was able to score until the bottom on the fourth when ONU added another run to make the score 4-2. The Beavers left a runner on in the top of the fifth, before a Jessica Headings 2-run homer knotted the game at four. Ohio Northern used three hits and two Bluffton errors in the bottom of the sixth inning to plate five runs and take a 9-4 lead. Freshman Kellie Kenny and Yeager both singled to start off the seventh inning, but the Beavers bats weren't strong enough to catch up to the Polar Bears as Ohio Northern took the first game by a final score of 9-4.
Yeager led Bluffton as she connected for two hits in three at bats. Weisbecker managed two hits, including a double, and totaled two RBI's in the contest. Sarah Nusbaum (Fairview/Fairview) also went 2-for-3 at the plate. Pitching for Bluffton was senior Sarah Betts (Bryan/Bryan). She faced 28 batters and struck out 14 in six innings of work. Betts gave up 10 hits and walked only two Polar Bears.
Motter opened the second game with a bunt to put her on first before she stole second base. Miller moved Motter to third with a sacrifice bunt. Motter was stranded on third in the top half of inning one. Ohio Northern took over on offense in their half of the first inning as they were able to convert five hits into four runs and, like the Beavers in game one, take an early 4-0 lead. Two more Polar Bear runs in the second inning upped the lead to six in favor of the home team.
Yeager ripped a single in the top of the sixth inning and moved to third on a hit
by Motter. A Weisbecker groundout scored Yeager, cutting the Polar Bear advantage
to five runs, 6-1. Bluffton was unable to score any more runs as ONU took the second
game, shortened to six innings due to darkness, by a final score
Motter led the Beavers in the second game as she went 2-for-3 at the plate. Yeager managed one hit in two appearances. Tonya Dean (Kettering/Kettering) started game two on the mound for Bluffton as she faced 11 batters, striking out two and walking one. Freshman Kellie Kenny came on in relief for the Beavers during the second inning. She held the Polar Bears scoreless and struck out six in 3.2 inning of work.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, March 18, 2006 for their first home contest of the 2006 season. The Beavers will face off against Alma College in a doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Marbeck Field.