Beavers rally for sweep at The Mount
Bluffton comes back from 6-1 deficit in sweep at MSJ
March 26, 2011
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team fell behind 3-0 in game one and 6-1 in game two, but the Beavers rallied to take both contests at the College of Mount St. Joseph on a cold Saturday, March 26, 2011. Bluffton improved to 10-7 overall and 3-1 in the Heartland Conference, while the Lions fell to 2-13 on the season and 0-2 in the HCAC.
Two walks, a Bluffton error and three MSJ singles added up to a quick 3-0 lead for the Lions after the first inning of game one. Freshman Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Kentucky) answered with her first collegiate home run in the top of the second, making the score 3-1.
The Beavers put up three runs of their own in the third inning to go ahead 4-3. Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) opened with a single to left field. One out later, Ashley Manusos (Spring Grove, Ill./McHenry Community East) and Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) ripped back-to-back RBI two-baggers. Shelby Wade's (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) single to center plated Manahan for the go-ahead run.
A five-run fifth gave the visitors a 9-3 lead over the Lions. Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) singled home pinch runner Allison Radomski (Fairfield/Cincinnati Christian) before Osborne belted her first career grand slam as the Beavers tallied five runs on just two hits and two MSJ errors.
MSJ scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Beavers tacked on an insurance tally in the seventh when Shelby Erford (Paulding ) singled home Maggie Armstrong (Vevay, Ind./Switzerland County) for the 10-5 victory.
Osborne paced the winners with three hits, two runs scored and four RBI, all on her grand slam. Price, Erford and Armstrong all finished with two safeties with Armstrong scoring twice. Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) survived the rocky start in improving to 4-5 on the season. She allowed five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Meagan Price scored on a wild pitch to start game two, but the home team answered with a Casey Brookbank grand slam in the second and two more runs in the third as MSJ opened a 6-1 lead over the Beavers.
Erford and Manusos both scored in the top of the fourth, cutting the deficit to three runs midway through the game. Another Beaver tally in the fifth made the score 6-4 with two innings to play.
With one out in the seventh and the Beavers still trailing by two runs, Maggie Armstrong reached on one of MSJ's four errors in the contest. Three straight walks pushed pinch runner Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) across the plate. Osborne drove home Radomski and Meagan Price with a base hit to center, making the score 7-6 in favor of Bluffton. Game two starter Stevie Cuttitta (Columbiaville, Mich./Clio) set the home team down in order to give the Beavers an unlikely sweep over MSJ.
Bluffton managed just three hits in game two, compared to nine for The Mount, but the Beavers took advantage of four errors, a hit batter and four free passes. Price and Radomski both scored twice in the victory. Stevie Cuttitta improved to 3-1 on the season despite allowing six runs on nine hits in seven innings in the circle. She fanned five and allowed just one walk.
The Beavers welcome Adrian College for their home opener on Thursday, March 31. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.