Bluffton softball squad wraps up regular season, preps for HCAC tournamentBy Tim Stried
April 28, 2003
|Special to: The Bluffton News (May 1), The Witmarsum (May 2), Alumni e-newsletter (April 29), but you read it here first.
Having won their last six home games in a row, the Bluffton College softball squad wrapped up the 2003 regular season last week and will now enter the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Friday in Cincinnati.
The Beavers posted a 7-3 record at Marbeck Field this season and concluded the regular season with a 15-19 overall record and a 5-9 record in the HCAC.
Bluffton dropped a pair of games at Manchester College on Thursday, falling 4-3 and 5-1, but the Beavers rebounded with a sweep of Case Western Reserve University on Saturday at home, winning 3-0 and 8-4, to give seniors Missy Alexander, Paula Fry, Missy Neal and Stephanie Rush a victorious home farewell.
Neal and sophomores Mandy Snider and Allison Lange provided the offensive punch last week as all three players raised their season averages well over .300. Neal leads the team with a .351 average, while Snider is batting .337. Lange is hitting .321 at the plate and has already set a BC single-season record with 57 total bases from her team-leading 36 base hits. She also leads the squad and is moving high up in the single-season record book in doubles (10), homeruns (3), RBI (17) and slugging percentage (.509).
Rush also had an excellent week at the plate, as she went 6-for-13 (.462) and scored a pair of runs.
Freshman pitcher Sarah Betts made her 19th and 20th pitching appearances of the season Saturday, which ties the BC record for games pitched in a season, as she picked up her 10th win of the season and first save. She leads the pitching staff with a 10-8 record and 1.87 ERA to go along with 117 strikeouts in 116.1 innings pitched.
Neal, Snider, Lange and Betts are all listed among the HCAC leaders, with final season statistics and rankings set to be released next week.
Against Manchester, Snider went 2-for-3 and sophomore Michelle Pleiman doubled in the first game, while Lange and Rush both went 2-for-3 in the second game. Rush and Snider both added two more hits in the first game against Case Western, while the second game was highlighted by two hits each from junior Amber Fitzwater, sophomore Becky Heller and freshman Lindsay Miller.
Betts struck out eight batters and allowed just two hits in seven innings in picking up the win in game one against CWRU, while sophomore Jenny Lehman earned the win in game two with a strikeout in 4.1 innings pitched. Freshman Jessica Rosengarten came on in relief in two games last week, including the second win over CWRU, while Betts earned the save in that contest.