Kurtz tosses a dandy as Bluffton tops Defiance 4-0By Tim Stried
April 8, 2002
Just when the Bluffton College softball team needed it the most, senior Emily Kurtz delivered a gem of a pitching performance to lead the Beavers to a 4-0 victory at Defiance College on April 4. The win snapped a three-game BC losing skid and gave the Beavers their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory of the season.
Bluffton will look to continue that momentum with three HCAC double-headers this week, beginning on Wednesday when Manchester College visits Marbeck Field at 3:30. BC will travel to Mount St. Joseph on Friday and then Hanover College on Saturday.
Bluffton and Defiance battled into the eighth inning in the second game of their double-header before darkness halted action with the score tied 8-8. BC is now 3-13-1 overall and in the fifth spot in the HCAC with a 1-2-1 league record.
The Beavers began the week with a 3-2 loss at Case Western Reserve University on Tuesday as Kurtz allowed just five hits and one earned run but saw the Spartans come from behind with two runs in the sixth inning to take the win. Sophomore Amanda DeVaul collected two base hits to lead the BC offense. The second game was cancelled in the third inning due to rain.
In Bluffton's 4-0 victory over Defiance, freshman Allison Lange's two-RBI single in the fourth inning broke open a scoreless game to give the Beavers all the lead they would need as Kurtz struck out seven batters without allowing a walk. DeVaul and Mandy Snider also delivered RBI singles in the fourth inning and freshman Jennifer Summers added two hits in the contest.
In the nightcap, Defiance jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but Bluffton battled back to force extra innings before darkness set in to end the game in an 8-8 tie. Sophomore Stacy Herr pitched the first five innings and freshman Janeen Arps worked the final three innings, while offensive leaders included Snider with three hits and Summers, sophomore Amber Fitzwater and junior Missy Neal with two hits each.
BC traveled to Albion College on Saturday and suffered two losses, 6-0 and 3-2. Kurtz struck out two batters and didn't allow an earned run in the first game, while Arps was nearly as good in the second game but exited the game before the seventh inning when Albion scored the game-winning run.
Fitzwater is batting .261 and leads the team in RBIs (7), doubles (5) and runs scored (10), while Neal is hitting .263 with five RBIs and a team-best .364 on base percentage. Other offensive leaders include Arps (.353), freshman Michelle Pleiman (.333), Lange (.283), Summers (.268) and Snider (.257).
Special to: The Bluffton News, The Witmarsum