Bluffton moves to 4-0 with Tuesday victories
Late game offense propels Beavers to a pair of victories
March 3, 2009
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - After digging a 3-0 hole for the second time in as many days, the Bluffton University softball team found its offense in time to dispatch Catholic University and Gwynedd-Mercy on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. Bluffton rallied from three runs down after three innings to knock off Catholic 6-4 before piling up six fifth-inning runs in a 7-1 victory over Gwynedd-Mercy.
With Bluffton struggling to put together any offense through the first three frames, Catholic took advantage of a Bluffton error that would have ended the inning and the team from Washington D.C. pasted three unearned runs on the scoreboard in the home half of the inning. Much like it did a day ago, Bluffton cut into the deficit with a single score in the top of the fourth. Freshman Jessica McDonald (Mechanicsburg) was hit by a pitch with two outs and she went to second on a wild pitch. Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Christian) made it 3-1 with an RBI single up the middle.
An inning later, Chelsie Osborn (Chillicothe/Waverly) ripped a one-out double down the right field line. Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) plated Osborn with a single through the left side. Following a free pass to Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson), McDonald knotted the contest with an RBI base knock up the middle.
Catholic used a Bluffton error to reclaim the lead, 4-3, with another unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Beavers took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by pinch hitter Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) and Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) sent Catholic's starting pitcher to the dugout with one out. Lindsay Miller (Wapakoneta) made it 5-4 when she scalded a Catholic offering down the left field line for a two-run double.
Doubles by Emily Manahan and Kellie Kenney in the top of the seventh provided the Beavers with a valuable insurance run and Brooke Babcock (Findlay), who came on in relief in the sixth, set Catholic down in order to secure the 6-4 victory in game one.
Wilson, Miller and Babcock all collected two hits and Miller plated two runs, including the game-winner. Bluffton out-hit its opponent 12-4, but the Beavers committed two errors that kept it interesting. Kenney improved to 2-0 on the year after giving up four runs, all unearned, on four hits in 5.1 innings of work. Babcock nailed down her first save of the season with four strikeouts and 1.2 innings of shutdown ball.
A Brooke Babcock sacrifice fly put the Beavers up 1-0 in the home half of the second inning. She picked up Marbaugh who drew a leadoff walk.
After two scoreless frames, Gwynedd-Mercy used a free pass, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single to make it 1-1 miway through the fifth inning. The home half of the fifth saw the Beavers explode for six runs on five hits and two miscues. Babcock smoked a one-out double down the left field line and she moved to third when the visitors misplayed Allison White's (Lima/Shawnee) grounder. Another error loaded the bases for Torrie Wilson who singled home Babcock and White. Buckmaster's perfect squeeze plated McDonald and she went to second without a play. Lindsey Miller ended the scoring frenzy with a three-run bomb to straightaway center field for her third home run in four games.
Babcock came on in relief of freshman Kristin Agauas (Bloomfield, Mich./Andover) and picked up the win, giving up one run on four hits in 4.2 innings on the mound. She fanned five batters and walked two in the victory. Miller and Wilson combined for five RBI.
Bluffton returns to action against Adrian College at 11 a.m. on day three of the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Florida.