Bluffton splits with Transy in HCAC opener
Chloe Shell fires four-hitter in game two win over Pioneers
March 23, 2013
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team split a doubleheader with Transylvania University on Saturday, March 23, 2013. The Beavers lost the first game, 10-4, but turned it around in the second game for a 3-1 victory. The Beavers moved to 9-7 overall and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference, while Transylvania University is now 3-13 overall and 1-1 in the HCAC.
In the first game, the Beavers fell behind early with Transylvania scoring two unearned runs in the second inning and four runs in the third inning. The Beavers tried to come back in the third inning but pushed just one run across the plate. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a single from Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) and crossed the plate on a Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) base knock.
In the fifth inning, both Bluffton and Transylvania scored one run. Once again Muffo crossed the plate for the Beavers. She ripped a one-out single, advanced to second on a groundout by Clark and came around to score on a double by Nikitas.
In the bottom of the sixth the Beavers tried to rally, scoring two more runs. Brittany Baker (Springboro) hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a single by Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) and crossed the dish when pinch hitter Alexandra Hough (Highland, Ind./Andrean) drew a bases-loaded walk. Pinch runner Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) crossed the plate when Muffo lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. Both teams went down quietly in the seventh as Transylvania finished off a 10-4 victory in the HCAC lidlifter.
The Beavers were led by Baker and Nikitas who were both 3-of-4 at the plate. Nikitas drove in two runs and was robbed of three more when she lined out to first with the bases full in the sixth. Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) took the loss for the Beavers with three strikeouts and one walk.
Chloe Shell (Covington) was the story in game two as she held Transy to just one unearned run in the first inning, firing a four-hitter that required just 88 pitches to complete. Transylvania took advantage of a Bluffton error and a questionable illegal pitch, but the Beavers rallied and took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Clark laced a single to open the inning, stole second and finally crossed the plate on a run-scoring single from Jessica Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron). Kuzara made it 2-1 when Haugh hit an RBI-double to center field.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Beavers put their final run on the board. Shelby Erford (Paulding) started the inning off with an infield single. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) and crossed the plate on a base hit by Muffo.
Shell had all she needed as she finished the contest by putting zeros up on the scoreboard in each inning after the first. The sophomore improved to 5-4 after fanning five and walking just one batter. Kuzara, Muffo and Haugh all drove in runs for the victors.
Bluffton returns to action with a non-conference matchup at Heidelberg on Wednesday, March 27. The first game is slated to start at 3 p.m. in Tiffin, Ohio.