Betts pitches pair of gems as BC softball squad battles HCAC's top teamsBy Tim Stried
April 14, 2003
|Special to: The Bluffton News (April 17), The Witmarsum (April 18), Alumni e-newsletter (April 15), but you read it here first.
|Freshman Sarah Betts was named HCAC player-of-the-week on April 14, 2003
Bluffton came away with a 1-3 record in those four games but proved they were every bit as talented as their league-leading counterparts, Mount St. Joseph and Transylvania, who arrived at Marbeck Field with just one HCAC loss between them. Bluffton knocked off The Mount 7-1 in the first game before falling 3-2 in the second game, while the Transy games both came down to the last inning, as well, as BC fell 3-1 and 10-6.
Betts earned HCAC player-of-the-week honors for her efforts during the weekend. In BC's win over MSJ, she allowed just four hits and struck out six batters as Bluffton handed the Lions their first HCAC loss of the season and gave MSJ pitcher Kati Stroub her first loss of the season. Then in the first game against Transylvania, Betts took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Pioneers rallied for a 3-1 win. Betts struck out 12 batters in the game and at one point retired 19 straight hitters as Bluffton nearly knocked off last season's HCAC regular season champion, which entered the game with an 18-5-1 overall record. Betts made a relief appearance in the second TU game and struck out two batters to bring her weekend total up to 20 K's.
Betts leads the pitching staff with a 2.38 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 88.1 innings of work. Jessica Rosengarten (1-3, 3.20 ERA) and Jenny Lehman (2-7, 5.43 ERA) also pitched well over the weekend.
Offensively, senior Missy Neal batted 7-for-12 (.583) with four RBI over the weekend to increase her team-leading batting average to .377. She also leads the team in triples (3) and slugging percentage (.528) and is tied for the team-lead in RBI with sophomore Allison Lange, as both players have 10 RBI. Other offensive leaders include sophomore Mandy Snider (.288, 2 2b, 5 RBI), Lange (.274, 5 2b, 2 HR), Betts (.269) and Lehman (.263).
In the first game against Mount St. Joseph, the Beavers jumped on Lion pitchers early and often and ended the game with 10 hits in support of Betts' pitching efforts. Neal was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI and senior Stephanie Rush added two hits, as well. In game two against MSJ, Bluffton out-hit the Lions 9-6 and Lange led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a blast over the leftfield fence, but the Lions hung on for a 3-2 win. Lehman and Rosengarten combined to strikeout three and walk none.
In the opener against Transy, Neal went 2-for-3 and Snider added a double, while Rush singled home senior Missy Alexander in the first inning to give BC a 1-0 lead, which would stand until the final inning. In the nightcap Saturday, Lange went 3-for-5 while Neal, senior Paula Fry and junior Amber Fitzwater all added two hits.
Bluffton is scheduled to host Defiance on Wed., April 16 and Rochester on Fri., April 18.