Bluffton 3, Manchester 1; Bluffton 3, Manchester 1
Bluffton knocks off Manchester in both games
April 19, 2006
By: Molly Burnell, sports information assistant
The Bluffton University softball team (12-17, 5-3 HCAC) defeated Heartland Conference foe Manchester College in both games on Wednesday, April 19, 2006. The Beavers won the first game 3-1 and came back to take game number two by the same score.
Game One - Bluffton 3, Manchester 1
Bluffton started out game number one with a dropped ball by Manchester as freshman Randi Yeager(Harrison/Harrison) reached first on the Spartan error. Yeager stole second and moved to third on a Sarah Nusbaum (Fairview/Fairview) single down the first base line. Senior Lindsay Miller (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) put the bunt down to score Yeager, giving Bluffton a 1-0 lead.
The bats were quiet for both teams until the top of the fourth inning when Manchester came to the plate. Allen got things going for the Spartans as she advanced to second on a throwing error by the shortstop. A single to center field by Miller brought Allen in and tied the game at one.
Junior Carrie Weisbecker (Okeana/Ross) struck gold with a single to left field in Bluffton's half of the fourth
A double by freshman Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) plated Weisbecker and put the Beavers back on top 2-1.
Bluffton came up in the fifth inning and got things rolling with a Michelle Motter (Lakeview/Indian Lake) single. Motter advanced to second on a Manchester error. Yeager successfully bunted Motter to third base and Nusbaum was able to bring Motter home on a fielders choice. The run gave Bluffton a 3-1 advantage and Betts slammed the door as she held the Spartans to one hit over the final two frames.
Picking up the win for Bluffton was senior Sarah Betts (Bryan/Bryan). She struck out nine batters and gave up only five hits. Freshman Lindsey Miller led Bluffton at the plate as she went 2-for-3 and smacked a double.
Game Two - Bluffton 3, Manchester 1
Manchester came out hot in the second game as Stevens smacked a one out double to right field in the second inning. An Eberhardt triple to right field scored Stevens and gave Manchester the early lead.
Bluffton opened the bottom of the third inning with back to back walks, one to Weisbecker and one to sophomore Amanda Harris (Greenville/Greenville) putting two Beavers on base. A throwing error by the Manchester shortstop allowed Weisbecker to score and knotted the game at one.
With the game still deadlocked at one in the sixth inning, Betts drew a leadoff walk. A single by Motter put runners on first and second with no outs. Yeager drove one through the right side scoring Betts and leaving runners at the corners. When Manchester attempted to throw out Yeager on an attempted steal, Motter raced home giving the Beavers a two run cushion.
Manchester couldn't come back in the seventh inning as superb pitching and outstanding defense allowed Bluffton to take game two by the identical score of 3-1.
Betts picked up the win in game two as she stuck out four batters and limited the Spartans to four hits in the contest. For the day, Betts went 14 innings, gave up two runs, one earned, had 13 strikeouts and walked none. Yeager and Nusbaum led Bluffton as they both went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, April 22, 2006, when it hosts HCAC rival Franklin College. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.