Bluffton sweeps Muhlenberg/Widener
Beavers dominate in opening day victories
March 4, 2008
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team helped Head Coach Heather Bruder do something she had never done on Monday, March 3, 2008. The Beavers opened the season 2-0 with victories over Muhlenberg and Widener, marking the first time Bruder has led her team to a pair of wins on opening day. Bluffton shut down a Muhlenberg team that defeated no. 2 ranked Wartburg a day earlier. Putting an exclamation point on the first day, the Beavers completed the sweep with a 4-1 win over Widener.
Bluffton 7, Muhlenberg 0
After a pair of scoreless frames to start the game, Bluffton used a pair of infield singles, two errors and two bases loaded walks to take a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Freshmen Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) and Mollie Brown (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) both beat out infield singles to open the inning. A Gretchen Handley (Ashland/Ashland) sacrifice moved them into scoring position before a Muhlenberg error loaded the bases. Juniors Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) and Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) drew run-producing walks and Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) crossed the plate when the Mules committed their second error of the inning.
Bluffton tacked on a run in the top of the sixth when Buckmaster's base hit plated Abby Snider (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) who led off the inning with a triple.
The Beavers added three more runs in the seventh thanks to a Kenney sacrifice bunt that scored Lindsey Miller and a two-run single by senior Amanda Harris (Arcanum/Arcanum).
Sophomore Brooke Babcock (Findlay/Findlay) mowed down the Muhlenberg hitters, striking out seven while only giving up three hits in the shutout. She allowed just two free passes as she led the Beavers to their opening day victory.
Buckmaster and Marbaugh both finished with two hits while Harris and Kenney knocked in two runs each. Seven different Beavers crossed the plate in the win.
Bluffton 4, Widener 1
For the second straight game, the Beavers took an early lead that they never relinquished. Much like the opener, Bluffton took advantage of bases loaded walks to Tiffany Buckmaster and Kellie Kenney as Widener fell behind 2-0 in the second inning. Freshman Abby Snider and senior Tonya Dean (Kettering/Fairmont) both scored following the free passes to Buckmaster and Kenney.
A walk to Dean with the bases juiced in the bottom of the third pushed Lindsey Miller across the plate for a 3-0 lead over Widener.
Widener cut the deficit to two runs in the top of the fourth when Stephanie Caulford knocked in Krista Cesarine who cracked a one-out double, but the Beavers answered with a run in the fifth as Buckmaster picked up her second run batted in of the game with another bases loaded walk.
Miller was 3-of-4 at the plate and she finished the day 4-for-6 with two runs scored. Snider went 2-of-4 with two runs scored in the victory over Widener.
Junior hurler Kellie Kenney (1-0) went the distance, limiting Widener to five hits and one run with seven strikeouts and only one walk in seven innings of work.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, March 4, when they face Mary Washington at 9 a.m.