Beavers thump Franklin in HCAC sweep
Bluffton hands Franklin a pair of mercy-rule losses
April 3, 2010
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team kept its record in Heartland Conference play perfect with a pair of five-inning shutouts against Franklin College on Saturday, April 3, 2010. Bluffton improved to 8-11 overall and 6-0 in the HCAC, while Franklin fell to 6-14 overall and 1-3 in the conference
Bluffton 9, Franklin 0 (five innings)
Bluffton pounded six straight hits to start the bottom of the first in game one. Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) plated Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Brooke Babcock (Findlay) picked up Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) with a double to left center before a Jessica McDonald (Mechanicsburg) base hit drove in Babcock.
Following a leadoff walk to Babcock in the third, pinch runner Kirsten Stopher (Archbold) crossed the plate when Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valleye) singled through the left side.
A five-run fourth gave the Beavers all they would need as Bluffton took advantage of three errors and two hits for a 9-0 lead after four innings. McDonald singled home Osborne and Price to make the score 6-0. Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) greeted relief pitcher Kayla Bachek with a two-run single up the middle and another Franklin miscue allowed her to cross the dish.
Brooke Babcock, who is holding HCAC opponents to a .091 batting average with a 0.41 earned run average, continued her stellar play with a five-inning shutout. She allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. She helped her cause with a double and two runs scored and pinch runner Kirsten Stopher gave Bluffton three runs scored from the four-hole. McDonald went 2-of-3 with three RBI, while Manahan had two hits and two RBI. Price finished with two safeties.
Bluffton 14, Franklin 0 (five innings)
With the wind picking up and skies darkening, the Beavers needed just four and a half innings to complete a sweep of the Grizzlies. After going down in order in the first inning of game two, Bluffton went off for five runs in the second. Jessica McDonald singled up the middle and stole second before a walk to Emily Manahan set the stage for a three-run shot to left by Stevie Cuttitta (Columbiaville, Mich./Clio) who pulled back her bunt attempt in time to send a Bachek pitch over the fence. Osborne made the score 5-0 with her two-run single to right center.
Cuttitta drove home Jessica McDonald to ignite the scoring in the bottom of the third. Allison Radomski (Cincinnati/Christian) followed with a two-RBI bloop down the left field line and she crossed the plate with Torrie Wilson at the dish, giving Bluffton a comfortable 9-0 lead.
The Beavers blew it wide open with five more tallies in the fourth, opening up a 14-0 advantage. Manahan, Cuttitta and Wilson all drove in runs before Cuttitta wrapped up the sweep, keeping her ERA at 0.00 after 12.1 innings of conference play. She improved to 3-4 with the five-inning three-hitter. At the plate, Cuttitta was 3-of-3 with five RBI and three runs scored. Manahan and McDonald both collected two his. Wilson, Osborne, Manahan and Radomski all finished with two RBI. McDonald and Manahan both scored three times in the 14-0 shellacking.
Bluffton continues Heartland Conference play when it welcomes Rose-Hulman on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The first contest is slated to start at 3 p.m.