Bluffton opens 2009 with pair of wins
Beavers slam Misericordia and hold off Gwynedd-Mercy
March 2, 2009
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Bluffton University pounded out 14 hits, 12 after the third inning, en route to a convincing 13-5 season-opening victory over perennial power Misericordia on Monday, March 2, 2009. The Beavers turned a two-run deficit into a 12-5 lead with 11 runs in innings five and six. After the offensive outburst in the lidlifter, it took an outstanding performance by senior hurler Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Christian) to complete day one of the Rebel Spring Games with a perfect 2-0 record. The Bluffton bats managed only seven hits, but Kenney limited Gwynedd-Mercy to just four singles to secure the 3-2 win.
Bluffton had its chances in the first inning against Misericordia, but a runner interference call against the Beavers kept the game scoreless through frame one. The Cougars took advantage of a Bluffton error in the bottom of the second to put two unearned runs on the scoreboard before a Holly Sarnak homer to left center gave Misericordia the 3-0 lead after three innings.
Three Bluffton singles, including a Chelsie Osborn (Waverly) RBI base knock, made it 3-1 in favor of the Cougars midway through the fourth. The floodgates opened for the Beavers in the fifth frame despite two strikeouts to open the inning. Senior Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta) took advantage of a Misericordia dropped fly to get Bluffton's offense started. Junior Jayme Marbaugh (Rockford/Parkway) followed with a single before a fielder's choice with Brooke Babcock (Findlay) at the plate loaded the bases when Miller beat the throw to third. A patient Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) drew a free pass which plated Miller before Kenney was hit by a pitch to make the game 3-3. Osborn plated Manahan and Babcock with a single to right and Torrie Wilson's (Delphos/Jefferson) shot up the middle sent Kenney scurrying home for a 6-3 Bluffton lead.
The Cougars trimmed the deficit to one thanks to a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Bluffton put the game on ice with six scores on five hits in the top of frame six. Freshman Jessica McDonald (Mechanicsburg) opened the sixth with a shot under the shortstop's leather and Lindsey Miller made Misericordia pay with a two-run blast to left center. Marbaugh followed with a two-bagger to left center and she moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch before scoring on Babcock's groundout. Manahan collected her third walk of the game to keep the rally rolling and she moved to second on another groundout. Osborn ripped a two-base hit to right center, scoring Manahan, and Torrie Wilson picked her up with a single up the gut. Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) then beat out a dribbler in front of the plate, making it 12-5 in favor of the Beavers.
Miller capped the scoring with her second bomb in as many innings to give the Beavers a 13-5 victory over a talented Misericordia squad that returned nearly everyone from a 2008 team that went 34-12 and won the PAC.
Bluffton pounded out 14 hits in the victory, including a 3-of-4 performance by Chelsie Osborn. She drove in four runs for the Beavers. Miller went 3-of-5 with two dingers, three runs scored and three RBI. Manahan scored three times and Torrie Wilson plated two tuns on two hits. Brooke Babcock picked up her first win with a nine-strikeout performance. She gave up just two earned runs on five hits with two walks. Holly Sarnak went deep for Misericordia in its first loss of the season after two victories on Sunday.
Bluffton went up 2-0 after scoring one run in each of the first two frames of game two. Lindsey Miller's shot off the third baseman's glove picked up Torrie Wilson who opened the contest with base hit up the middle. The Beavers made it 2-0 when a Gwynedd-Mercy throw sailed over first base.
Both teams plated single runs in the fourth before a Bluffton wild pitch allowed Gwynedd-Mercy to make it a one-run game midway through the fifth. Kenney shut the visitors on the scoreboard down over the final two innings to keep Bluffton perfect at 2-0 with the 3-2 win.
Kenney limited Gwynedd-Mercy to four hits and two runs, one earned, while striking out five batters. She did not issue a walk in the victory. Osborn went 2-of-2 at the plate with a sacrifice bunt to open the season 5-of-6 at the dish.
Bluffton returns to action against Catholic University at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, on day two of the Rebel Spring Games.