MSJ 7, Bluffton 4; Bluffton 13, MSJ 0 (5 inn.)
CINCINNATTI, Ohio. - The Bluffton University softball team (8-11, 1-3 HCAC) split a pair of conference contests with Mount St. Joseph on Sunday, April 2, 2006. Bluffton fell to the Lions 7-4 in game one, but the Beavers exploded for a 13-0 victory over the Mount in five innings in the second game of the afternoon. The games were rescheduled from Friday because of wet field conditions in Cincinnati.
Game One - MSJ 7, Bluffton 4
The Beavers struck first with a run in the first inning. With two outs, senior Michelle Motter (Lakeview/Indian Lake) drew a free pass. She stole second before an error allowed her to move to third. A Carrie Weisbecker (Okeana/Ross) triple to center field plated Motter to give Bluffton the early lead.
Lindsay Miller (Haviland/Wayne Trace) reached first when she was hit by a pitch with one out in the third inning. She moved to second when Motter reached on an infield error. A Weisbecker flyout to right field allowed Miller to advance to third. Motter promptly stole second to eliminate any chances at a force play. Another infield error allowed both Miller and Motter to cross the plate giving the Beavers a 3-0 lead midway through the third inning.
The Lions' bats finally came to life in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Niehaus ripped a double to left field. Brogan followed with a single and then stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Sunderman drew a bases loaded walk to put MSJ on the scoreboard. Another walk to Johnson plated a run before the Lions hit consecutive singles to take a 4-3 lead. Sophomore Tonya Dean (Kettering/Kettering) took over on the mound and gave up a bases loaded walk before getting the final two outs to end the inning.
Bluffton used a walk and two errors to push a run across the plate in the top of the sixth, but Mount St. Joseph put together three hits in the bottom half of the inning to take a 7-4 lead into the seventh.
Miller was hit by a pitch and stole second but the Beavers could not generate any other baserunners as the Lions held on for the 7-4 victory.
Sarah Betts (Bryan/Bryan) took the loss for the Beavers as she gave up five runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings of work. She struck out five Lions and issued five walks.
Bluffton managed only three hits in the contest. Weisbecker went 1-of-3 with a run scored and one RBI. Motter, who reached on a walk and an error, scored twice for the Beavers.
Game Two - Bluffton 13, MSJ 0 (5 inn.)
The Beavers jumped on top with three runs in the first inning of game two. Yaeger, Miller and Motter opened the game with singles to load the bases. Two errors by the shortstop and an Amanda Harris (Greenville/Greenville) single to right field allowed Motter and Weisbecker to cross the plate.
Two Lion errors and a Miller single to right field gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead midway through the fourth inning.
The floodgates opened for Bluffton in the top of the fifth frame. Although the Beavers mustered only four hits in the inning, three Mount St. Joseph errors, two walks and a wild pitch helped Bluffton send nine runners across the plate to take a 13-0 lead before the dust settled. Weisbecker rapped a double to open the inning while Yaeger, Miller and Motter all had base hits following the three Lion errors to keep the rally alive.
Niehaus drew a two out walk in the bottom of the fifth, but Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) induced Brogan into a game ending groundout.
Kenney fired a two-hitter as she pitched all five innings for the Beavers and upped her record to 3-2.
Yaeger was 3-of-4 at the plate with three runs scored and one RBI. Lindsay Miller also pounded out three hits, scored a run and knocked in one run. Motter finished the game 2-of-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Weisbecker also garnered two hits and scored twice with a run batted in. Amanda Harris knocked in two runs and scored once in the Bluffton victory.
Bluffton returns to action on Tuesday, April 4, 2006 when it travels to Denison for a doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.