Bluffton wins two at Rebel Spring Games
Bluffton opens 2012 with wins over Catholic and Beloit
March 5, 2012
KISSIMMEE, Florida - Clutch hitting in game one coupled with lights out pitching in game two proved to be a recipe for success as the Bluffton University softball team kicked off its 2012 campaign with wins over Catholic University and Beloit College on Monday, March 5, at the Rebel Spring Games. Catholic, like Bluffton, was playing its first game of the season, while Beloit slipped to 1-2 after a split on Sunday.
A two-out rally by the Beavers netted three runs for Bluffton in the home half of the second against Catholic. Lindsay Robertson (Cincinnati/Northwest) ignited the rally with a triple to right center. Fellow freshman Brittany Baker (Springboro), who went 4-of-5 in her first day of collegiate softball, followed with a bloop single to center for a 1-0 lead. Following a free pass to Shelby Erford (Paulding), Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) dropped in a base hit which plated Baker from second before a passed ball allowed Erford to scurry home for the 3-0 lead.
Catholic took advantage of a changed call in the top of the third, tying the game with three unearned runs. A run-scoring double by Mel Galella followed by a Megan Rizzi two-RBI two-bagger made the score 3-3 in the third inning. Two tallies by Catholic in the top of the fifth did not faze freshman Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) who launched a two-run bomb to straightaway center field in the home half. Clark's shot was a no-doubter and it flipped the momentum back in Bluffton's favor.
A walk to freshman Mackenzie Bedlion (Marshallville/Smithville) in the top of the sixth set the stage for two more Bluffton tallies. Pinch runner Jenelle Theisen (Carleton, MI/St. Mary Catholic Central) moved up 60 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Robertson before Brittany Baker picked her up with a base knock to right center. Baker came all the way around from second on an infield single by Shelby Wade, making the score 7-5.
Baker was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, including the game-winner. Clark and Wade, who was 2-of-2, both drove in two runs for the victors. Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) worked three innings of scoreless relief with one strikeout for the victory. Freshman Chloe Shell (Covington) allowed five runs, just two earned, on seven hits in her first collegiate start.
Following three scoreless frames to open game two, Bluffton went up 1-0 when Katie Clark doubled home Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) in the top of the fourth. Three scores by the Beavers in the sixth allowed Bluffton to show off its depth in the circle following five perfect innings from freshman Megan Patton (Perry).
Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) plated Osborne for a 2-0 lead before an RBI groundout from Lindsay Robertson. Jenelle Theisen capped the scoring when she crossed the dish on a Baker sacrifice bunt. Freshman Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) closed out the shutout with two scoreless innings of relief. She struck out two and Patton fanned eight in the victory.
Osborne was a perfect 2-of-2 at the plate with two runs scored. Clark went 2-of-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Bluffton finished with eight hits, compared to just two for Beloit.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, March 6, when Bluffton takes on Baldwin-Wallace at 9 a.m. The Tuesday contests are slated for the Oren Brown softball complex.