Bluffton 6, Franklin 2; Bluffton 5, Franklin 4
Beavers improve to 7-3 in HCAC with sweep of Franklin
By Jordon Bruner, sports information assistant
April 22, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio. - The Bluffton University softball team (14-17, 7-3 HCAC) swept a doubleheader with
Franklin College on Saturday, April 22, 2006. Bluffton held off the Grizzlies winning the first game, 6-2, and the second game by a score of 5-4. With the victories, the Beavers have won six consecutive HCAC games to improve to 7-3 in the conference.
Game One - Bluffton 6, Franklin 2
Senior Sarah Betts (Bryan/Bryan) carried a no-hitter through the fifth inning as Bluffton overcame a late Franklin rally to knock off the Grizzlies, 6-2. Betts scattered three hits over the final two innings to pick up the win for the Beavers.
Betts helped her own cause by hitting a one-out triple to right in the bottom of the second. She then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Michelle Motter (Lakeview/Indian Lake).
Bluffton put up two runs in the fifth to expand its lead to three runs. Motter led off the inning with a single up the middle. She was later thrown out while trying to advance to third on a single by Randi Yaeger (Harrison/Harrison). Yaeger crossed the plate following a single by Sarah Nussbaum (Fairview/Fairview). Nusbaum stole second base and moved to third on a base hit by Lindsay Miller (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace). A Carrie Weisbecker (Okeana/Ross) groundout drove in Nussbaum for the second run of the inning.
Franklin scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to close the gap. Pogue and Watson both reached to start off the inning. Cook drove in both runners with a two-out single to right center, making the score 3-2.
Bluffton responded in the bottom half of the inning with three insurance runs. Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) and Gretchen Handley (Ashland/Ashland) each ripped singles to lead off the sixth inning for Bluffton. Miller and Handley both advanced on a wild pitch. Betts then reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. A single by Motter drove in Miller and moved Handley and Betts into scoring position. Yaeger hit a single to left to drive in both Handley and Betts, making the final score 6-2.
Yaeger and Motter each picked up two hits and drove in two runs for the Beavers. Lindsay Miller went 2-of-4 at the plate and drove in a run.
Betts ended the game with seven strikeouts while scattering three hits and three walks over seven innings of work. She gave up only two unearned runs to improve to 9-8 on the season.
Game Two - Bluffton 5, Franklin 4
Bluffton took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two. Lindsay Miller hit a two-out single to center field for Bluffton. She then stole second base and moving to third on a wild pitch. Mast walked Weisbecker and then threw a wild pitch which allowed Miller to score while Weisbecker moved to second. Harris then drove a single up the middle to plate Weisbecker.
Ridner opened the third for Franklin with a single to right center. Bluffton's defense then collapsed as three errors loaded the bases and allowed Ridner to score. Russo hit a single past the third baseman driving in Pogue to knot the game at two.
Bluffton responded in the bottom half of the inning as Yaeger led off with a single down the left field line. Nussbaum reached on an error by the third baseman, putting two on with no outs. The Beavers then successfully attempted a double steal, moving Yaeger to third and Nussbaum to second. Lindsay Miller poked a single to right center to score both Yaeger and Nussbaum. Two outs later, Lindsey Miller hit a double down the left field line to drive in the other Lindsay Miller, putting Bluffton up for good, 5-2.
The Grizzlies closed the gap in the top of fifth as they scored two runs to make the score 5-4. Errors once again proved costly for Bluffton as it committed two throwing errors following a single by Ridner that allowed Pogue and Watson to score.
Lindsay Miller was the clutch hitter for Bluffton as she went 2-of-3 while driving in two runs. Yaeger, Amanda Harris (Arcanum/Arcanum), and Lindsey Miller each collected hits for the Beavers.
Betts (10-8) picked up her second win of the day, and fifth in as many tries, going all seven innings for the complete game victory. She allowed seven hits and gave up four unearned runs while striking out seven batters.
Bluffton returns to action on Tuesday, April 25, 2006, when it travels to face HCAC rival Defiance College. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.