Bluffton opens HCAC with sweep at Hanover
Beavers open Heartland Conference with sweep at Hanover
March 27, 2010
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team broke out of its hitting slump in a 13-0 five-inning victory over the Panthers en route to a sweep at Hanover College on Saturday, March 27, 2010. The Beavers improved to 3-10 overall and 2-0 in Heartland Conference action, while Hanover fell to 4-10 and 0-4 in the HCAC.
Bluffton 13, Hanover 0 (5 innings)
Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) doubled down the left field line to open game one. Following a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield), Chelsie Osborne's (Chillicothe/Waverly) groundout scored Wilson for the 1-0 lead. The Beavers took advantage of four Hanover errors in the second to build a 6-0 lead over the home team. Brooke Babcock (Findlay) and Wilson collected the only two Bluffton safeties in the five-run frame.
Following a scoreless third for both teams, Bluffton made it 8-0 with two runs in the fourth. Osborne plated Wilson with her RBI single to center before Babcock lifted a sacrifice fly to center which scored Price.
Bluffton nailed down the five-inning shellacking with five runs in the top of the fifth. Two Panther miscues and three Bluffton hits added up to a 13-0 Beaver advantage. The final margin came thanks to a Brooke Babcock two-run shot to center field for Bluffton's first home run of the season.
Wilson finished the game 3-of-4 with four runs scored. Babcock went 3-of-3 with three RBI and Osborne drove in four runs for the Beavers. Price scored two times in the victory. Babcock (2-5) was superb in the circle, tossing a one-hit shutout with five strikeouts and only one walk while facing just two batters over the minimum.
Bluffton 3, Hanover 2
Bluffton and Hanover both struggled to produce baserunners in the second game as the score remained 0-0 after four innings of play. The Beavers finally put together some offense in the top of the fifth when Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) opened the frame with a single to left field. A Hanover error put Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) on second and pinch runner Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath) at third. Another Hanover miscue on Wilson's attempted sacrifice bunt allowed both Buckmaster and Marbaugh to cross the plate. Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye) capped the Bluffton scoring with an RBI single to left for a 3-0 advantage.
The Panthers made it interesting in the home sixth when they took advantage of a two-out Bluffton error. Blakli Nading made it 3-2 with her two-run bomb to center, but freshman Stevie Cuttitta (Columbiaville, Mich./Clio) came on and recorded the final four outs for her first career save.
Seven Beavers had one hit apiece as Bluffton completed a much needed sweep at Hanover. The Bluffton pitching was outstanding for the day, allowing two runs, none earned, on five hits with 10 strikeouts and just three free passes. Kristin Agauas (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Andover) evened her record at 1-1 after a 5.2 inning three-hitter. She fanned five and allowed just two unearned runs.
The Beavers return to HCAC action with a pair of games at rival Defiance College on Tuesday, March 30, 2010. The first contest is slated to start at 3:30 p.m.