Bluffton pitching superb in split at Alma
Pitching carries Beavers in split at Coach Bruder's alma mater
March 24, 2009
ALMA, Mich. - The Bluffton University softball team narrowly missed a sweep at Alma College on Tuesday, March 24, 2009, as standout hurlers Brooke Babcock (Findlay) and Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) limited the Scots to just seven hits on the afternoon. Alma pulled out a controversial 2-1 eight-inning victory in the opener after an interference call in the top of the eighth and another botched call at first in the home half before Kenney went the distance for a 1-0 victory in the nightcap. Bluffton moved to 13-7 overall, while Alma went to 10-7 following the split.
Alma 2, Bluffton 1 (8 innings)
The Beavers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning of the first game. With one down, freshman catcher Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) walked and moved to second on Jayme Marbaugh's (Ohio City/Parkway) groundout. Senior Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta) delivered the RBI with her double to the wall in right field.
Babcock continued to cruise until Alma plated a run in the bottom of the fifth. A walk to Koenigsknech with two outs gave Alma its first runner in two innings. She promptly stole second, one of her four thefts on the day, and came around to tie the game following a Rightenberg double.
It was still tied at 1-1 when the Beavers came in to bat in the top of the eighth inning. With the bases full and just one out following an intentional walk to Miller, Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) hit what looked to be a two-run single up the middle before an interference call negated Torrie Wilson's (Delphos/Jefferson) score and it left the Beavers with two outs. A groundout ended the frame and Alma took advantage of a bad call at first on an attempted sacrifice bunt to take game one when ball four went to the backstop for a game-ending wild pitch in the home half of the frame.
Despite giving up just two runs, one earned, with eight strikeouts, junior Brooke Babcock fell to 6-4 with the heartbreaking loss. She gave up four hits while walking two batters. Babcock also led the team at the plate, going 2-of-3 for the game. Miller had an RBI and Price scored Bluffton's lone run.
Bluffton 1, Alma 0
Senior Kellie Kenney was masterful in the circle, limiting Alma to three hits in game two. She allowed only two balls to leave the infield as Jayme Marbaugh racked up 10 assists at third base during Bluffton's 1-0 victory.
Bluffton scored the only run of the contest in the top of the sixth inning. Again Meagan Price found herself in the middle of the action. After being hit by a pitch to open the sixth, she went to second when Alma's pickoff atempt sailed into right field. Another intentional walk to Miller followed by a Chelsie Osborne bunt single loaded the sacks with one out.
Babcock reached on an Alma error as Price raced home. Another botched call at the plate kept Bluffton from adding to its lead, but Kenney nailed down the split with two perfect frames to end the game.
Allison White (Lima/Shawnee) went 2-of-2 at the plate and Osborne's bunt in the sixth was Bluffton's only other hit of the game. Price was superb behind the plate and she scored both of Bluffton's runs against the Scots.
Kenney improved to 5-2 on the season with her three-hit shutout. She struck out two and walked two in seven innings of work.
The Beavers open HCAC play when they travel to face defending co-regular season champion Rose-Hulman on Saturday, March 28. The first game is slated to start at 11 a.m.