Bluffton shuts out #10 Coast Guard Academy
Beavers wrap up Rebel Games with 4-0 shutout of #10 Coast Guard
March 10, 2012
KISSIMMEE, Florida - The Bluffton University softball team roughed up First Team All-American pitcher Hayley Feindel for three runs on three hits in the first inning of the Beavers' 4-0 shutout on March 10, 2012. Coast Guard finished the 2011 campaign with a 38-4 record and returned Feindel, the reigning NEISCA Pitcher of the Year who had a 0.56 ERA and 457 strikeouts last season. Bluffton was unable to ride its momentum into game two as Mount Union put up four unearned runs in the top of the second inning en route to a 7-4 victory over the Beavers. Bluffton moved to 7-5 following its week in Florida.
Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) singled over the shortstop's head to open game one for the Beavers. She moved to second following a Brittany Baker (Springboro) sacrifice bunt. Freshman Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) drew a walk before she was erased on a fielder's choice. With runners on the corners, senior Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) came through with a two-run double to the wall in left center. A bloop single by Alexandra Haugh (Highland, Ind./Andrean) down the right field line scored Manahan for a 3-0 lead over the Bears.
Clark laced a two-bagger to right center in the top of the third. Pinch runner Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll ) went to third on a Lindsay Robertson (Cincinnati/Northwest) base hit down the left field line. Robertson and Weitz pulled off a double steal for the 4-0 advantage.
Chloe Shell (Covington) was masterful in the circle, pitching to just three batters over the minimum. She allowed a leadoff walk, a single in the second and a base hit in the seventh while improving to 4-2 on the season. The freshman standout retired 16 consecutive batters in innings two through seven, including three strikeouts.
Manahan drove in two runs for the victors in game one. Feindel settled in during the third frame and recorded 15 straight outs to end the game.
A Bluffton defense that was rock solid in game one struggled mightily behind freshman hurler Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) in the final contest from Florida. Following a one-two-three first inning for both teams in the Bluffton-Mount Union game, the Purple Raiders took advantage of three errors to paste four unearned runs on the scoreboard during the second frame.
A Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) RBI single in the bottom half plated Manahan before three more Bluffton miscues in the top of the fourth pushed Mount Union to a commanding 7-1 lead. Price singled home Jessica Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron), who poked a one out double to left center, in the fifth, making the score 7-2. Osborne continued her recent torrid hitting with an RBI double to left center an inning later as the Beavers pulled within three runs.
Bluffton continued to battle, getting two runners on with two outs in the seventh before Kristen Gromes made a game-saving catch on Lindsay Robertson's liner to center to close out the Mount Union victory.
The Beavers finished with nine hits, compared to just three for the Purple Raiders. Osborne went 3-of-3 with two RBI. Fellow senior Emily Manahan was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Bluffton starter Megan Patton (2-1) went the distance, allowing seven runs, none earned, on just three hits with eight strikeouts. She fell victim to seven Bluffton errors that led to seven unearned runs for the visitors on the scoreboard.
Bluffton jumps back into action on Wednesday, March 14, when the Beavers head north to take on MIAA-power Adrian College. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.