Beavers open 2017 with win over Simpson
March 5, 2017
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team split a pair of one-run decisions on day one of the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Bluffton took the season opener, 5-4, over Simpson before Penn State-Berks held off the Beavers, 7-6, in the afternoon clash.
A Caylin Morstadt (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) RBI double down the left field line in the second inning followed by a Jessie Madzia (Massillon/Tuslaw) run-scoring base knock to right in the third put Bluffton up 2-1 heading to the fifth.
The Storm made it 2-2 in the top of the inning before junior Brittany Huff (Clayton/Northmont) put Bluffton back on top (4-2) with her two-run single to right center in the bottom of the frame. Simpson pulled even with a pair of unearned tallies in the top of the seventh, but Huff came through once again with a walkoff single down the right field line as the Beavers took the season opener by a 5-4 count.
All nine Bluffton hitters reached safely, including Kelsey Reeder (Galion/Northmor) who went 2-of-3 and scored the game-winning run. Huff drove in three scores while going 2-of-4 at the plate.
Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) was locked in from the start, tossing a complete-game six hitter. She allowed four runs, just one earned, and fanned six Simpson batters.
Down 3-0 to Berks after four innings, Bluffton finally came to life in the top of the fifth. Huff plated Reeder and Makenzie Schmidt (Caledonia/River Valley) with a two-bagger to right center and three pitches later, Josie McElroy (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) deposited a Jessica Rozick offering over the fence in left center for a 4-3 Beaver lead.
The home team on the scoreboard answered right back with four unearned runs in the bottom of the frame for a 7-4 Berks lead after five innings. Junior Molly Haberman (Port Clinton) followed a Carly Levindofske (Brunswick/Magnificat) single with a two-run bomb to left in the top of the sixth, but Bluffton went three up and three down in the seventh as the Beavers dropped a 7-6 decision in game two on Sunday.
Reeder was a perfect 3-of-3 at the dish, making her 5-of-6 (.833 BA) to start the season. Junior Nicole Thomas (Tontogany/Otsego) took the loss, allowing seven runs, just two earned, on eight hits with four walks in 4.2 innings of work.
Bluffton will be back in action at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 6, when the Beavers take on Montclair State. A matchup with Bridgewater will follow at 11:15 a.m. and both games on Monday are at Osceola Complex Field 4.