Bluffton splits with Franklin Grizzlies
Beavers pull out game one win with 10-run sixth inning
April 13, 2013
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team spilt the series with Franklin College on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The Beavers are now 16-14 overall and 8-4 in the HCAC, while Franklin is 12-22 overall and 6-6 in the HCAC following its first victory over Bluffton since 2005.
The Beavers were not ready for the Franklin offense in the first inning of game one, allowing the Grizzlies to score three runs. Bluffton managed just one run in the home half of the frame. Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) hit a double and came around to score thanks to two wild pitches. In the top of the second inning, Franklin added two more runs to make the score 5-1.
In the top of the fourth inning Franklin put up two more runs for a 7-1 advantage. Bluffton put one run on the board in the bottom of the fourth, when Brittany Baker (Springboro) crossed the plate after opening the bottom half with a leadoff walk.
The Beavers cut into Franklin's 8-2 lead with three tallies in the bottom of the fifth. Following a solo home run from Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.), Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) came up to bat and hit a two-run bomb, pulling Bluffton within three at 8-5.
The sixth inning everything turned around for the Beavers despite trailing 10-5 after two more Franklin scores. The Beavers had six hits in the inning, coming in the form of a single, four doubles and a home run from Knippen. Helping the Beavers to their season-best 10-run inning were two walks, two wild pitches, a couple Franklin errors and a stolen base.
The Beavers were led by Knippen who went 4-of-5 at the plate, had five RBI and crossed the plate three times. Emily Kolesynski (Strongsville) got the win for the Beavers with help coming from Chloe Shell (Covington) who tossed five innings and had two strikeouts.
The second game for the Beavers started out better than the first with the home team putting five runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning. The Beavers hit two singles and a double in the inning. They were also aided by two errors, a hit batter and a stolen base.
Neither team scored in the second inning but Franklin came out in the third inning and scored four times, cutting the Bluffton lead to just one. In the top of the fifth inning, the Grizzlies put two more runs on the board to take thier first lead of the game. The Beavers came back in the bottom of the inning and tied the game up when Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) doubled home Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.).
Franklin took the lead again in the top if the sixth inning after scoring three runs courtesy of two Bluffton miscues.
The Beavers came out in the bottom of the seventh and put up three runs on two singles and a home run by Katie Clark before Franklin could record an out. The three runs tied up the game, forcing extra innings when Bluffton was unable to break the tie.
In the eighth inning both team put one run across the plate, sending the game into the ninth frame. Franklin was able to add two runs after loading the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, the Beavers responded with just one score despite having runners at second and third with no outs.
The Beavers were led by Clark and Shelby Erford (Paulding) who went 3-of-4 and 4-of-6, respectively. Shell took the loss after tossing the final four innings. Kayla Owens started the game for the Beavers and had seven strikeouts and only one walk in five innings of action
Bluffton must get back to work as the Beavers host HCAC-leading Manchester University on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The first game on Strike Out Cancer Day is slated for 3:30 PM.