Bluffton sweeps Manchester
Bluffton improves to 6-2 in HCAC with sweep of Manchester
April 9, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning in game one and never looked back en route to a third straight Heartland Conference series sweep over Manchester College on Wednesday, April 9, 2008. The Beavers, winners of seven consecutive games, improved to 16-12 overall and 6-2 in the HCAC. Manchester fell to 4-12, including a 1-3 mark in the conference.
Bluffton 11, Manchester 3 (5 innings)
Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) reached on an infield single with one out in the bottom of the first inning. A Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) double to left center made it 1-0. Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) singled and stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Brooke Babcock (Findlay/Findlay) who made it 4-0 with her third home run of the season to straightaway center field.
The Beavers rallied for three runs in the third despite opening the inning with two straight outs. Miller drove an Erica Bush offering over the wall in left field to raise her Bluffton season record to nine home runs, while also breaking Allison Lange's career mark with her 11th home run as a Beaver. Babcock followed with a double to left center and she came around when Abby Snider (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) singled to center. Snider stole second and Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) picked her up with a base hit to left for a 7-0 lead.
With one down in the fourth, Mollie Brown (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton/Southeastern) doubled to left center. She moved up a base on a Buckmaster sacrifice bunt and scored on Marbaugh's second two-bagger of the game. Miller drove home Marbaugh to put Bluffton up by a 9-0 count.
An Aja Neumann single and a hit batter put two runners on for Erica Bush who forced Bluffton to bat in the bottom of the fifth with her three-run shot to left center which made the score 9-3 in favor of the home team.
Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) plated Abby Snider with an RBI single and Bluffton finished Manchester off in five innings when she scored following a Spartan error with two outs, making the final tally 11-3.
Lindsey Miller was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Babcock, Marbaugh and Brown all collected two hits in the victory. Babcock drove in three runs while Marbaugh plated two. Marbaugh, Babcock and Snider all scored two runs for the Beavers.
Brooke Babcock improved to 8-9 with a dominating five-inning performance that included nine strikeouts and just one walk. She limited Manchester to three runs on three hits.
Bluffton 4, Manchester 2
Bluffton took the early 1-0 lead just one batter into the home half of game two. Mollie Brown bunted for a base hit and when the throw sailed past the right fielder, the Beavers were on the scoreboard first.
A Bluffton error in the top of the second allowed Neumann to score when Lisa Heaton drove a double to wall in left center which tied the game at one.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Beavers did their damage thanks to pair of bunt singles by Buckmaster and Brown to open the frame. Miller's infield single loaded the bases for Babcock who drove a double to the gap in right center which cleared the bases for a 4-1 Bluffton lead. Brown's run broke Randi Yaeger's single-season mark of 32 runs scored which she set in 2006.
The Spartans used three hits to cut the deficit to two with runners at first and third and two outs, but Kenney ended the comeback try with a strikeout for the 4-2 victory and sweep of the visitors.
Babcock, who finished the day 4-of-6 at the dish, went 2-of-3 in the second game with three RBI. Buckmaster also collected two hits for the Beavers.
Kellie Kenney scattered nine hits over seven innings as she improved to 8-3 on the season. She limited the Spartans to two runs, only one earned, and finished with five strikeouts while not walking a batter.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, April 12, when they host HCAC rival Franklin College on Strike Out Cancer Day. The first contest is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.