Bluffton sweeps Hanover on Strikeout Cancer Day
Bluffton improves to 8-4 in the HCAC with sweep of Hanover
April 17, 2011
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team hosted Hanover College on Sunday,
April 17, for a rescheduled HCAC double header that had originally been slated to
be played at Hanover. The Beavers put up two runs in the seventh inning to sneak by
the Panthers, 11-10. Bluffton proved more dominant in the second game as they took
a 16-2 victory in five innings. The Beavers improved to 16-13 overall with an 8-4
mark in the HCAC. Hanover fell to 5-17 on the season and 1-7 in the HCAC.
Bluffton started the scoring in the first as an Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) single pushed Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) across the plate for the first run of the game. Hanover added three runs in the bottom half when a Jessica Conover home run plated three for an early 3-1 lead.
The Beavers once again pulled together in the second as a Maggie Armstrong (Vevay, Ind. /Switzerland County) double drove in Allison Radomski (Fairfield/Cincinnati Christian). Hanover responded with a potent offensive inning. They strung together three hits and used one Bluffton error to drive in four runs for the 7-2 lead.
The Panthers added to their advantage in the third as the Beavers failed to produce a runner. Hanover tallied three more runs with two hits and two errors in the frame. Hanover's lead jumped to 10-2 after just three innings.
Bluffton finally started to put it together in the fourth as a Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) home run picked up Paige Gerdeman (Columbus Grove) for two runs in the fourth. They home team held the Panthers scoreless as a double play and a pop up ended the inning. The Beavers trimmed the lead down to 10-4 with just three innings left to play.
Bluffton's offense found its rhythmn the fifth. Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) drove in Price after a leadoff double to start the inning. Stevie Cuttitta (Columbiaville, MI/Clio) singled up the middle to drive home Osborne. Ashley Manusos (Spring Grove, Ill./McHenry Community East) plated Shelby Erford (Paulding) on a fielder's choice before Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) knocked in Manusos and Cuttitta with a single to end the scoring for the inning. The Beavers once again held Hanover scoreless to make the score 10-9 at the end of the fifth.
The Beavers still trailed by a run going into the seventh. A throwing error allowed both Cuttitta and Gerdeman to score after they both singled. Bluffton went into the bottom of the seventh up by one. Cuttitta was up to the task, not allowing a runner while picking up the 11-10 come-from-behind win.
Stevie Cuttitta picked up the win, improving to 7-4 after four innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts. Chelsea Hanner took the loss after allowing 13 hits and 11 runs.
Cuttitta went 2-of-2 at the plate, driving in one and scoring twice. Gerdeman went 3-of-4, and scoring twice. Nikitas was 2-of-4 with two RBI while Meagan Price scored twice. Shelby Wade drove in two runs for the Beavers.
Bluffton's second performance was more impressive. They started quickly as Price reached on a single and came home following a Gerdeman double. Cuttitta then drove Gerdeman in with a single up the middle. The scoring continued as Nikitas picked up Cuttitta on a ground out. The Panthers added a run of their own in the first on a Helena Ciminowasielewski solo home run. After one inning Bluffton led 3-1.
The Beavers continued to pound across runs as an Osborne single up the middle drove in Price and Wade. Cuttitta held the Panthers scoreless in the second as she struck out the side.
The Beavers added another two runs in the third. Manusos doubled in Radomski for the first run before Manusos scored on a throwing error. Hanover picked up a run as a Shelby Overton single drove home Ciminowasielewski. The Beavers led 7-2 after three.
Price scored once again in the fourth, as she reached on a single and was sacrifice bunted over to second. She scored following a Cuttitta single. Cuttitta once again kept the Panthers off the bases as they went down without a hit in the fourth.
Bluffton put together an impressive fifth inning which iced the game. Jessica Wilhelm (Piqua) drove home Nikitas after she reached on a double. Osborne stepped up to the plate with Price on first and Wade on second and launched it over the fence for a three-run shot. Gerdeman then walked and scored on an error. Armstrong scored on a Nikitas single. Erford and Nikitas both crossed the plate on wild pitches to put the run total at eight for the inning. Hanover once again could not produce a runner, as Bluffton mercy-ruled the Panthers 16-2 after five innings.
Stevie Cuttitta earned her second win of the afternoon, jumping to 8-4 while giving up only three hits and two runs and fanning six in just five innings. Ashley Cochran fell to 1-3 after allowing eight runs in three innings. Nikitas went 3-of-4 at plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Osborne finished 2-of-3 with five RBI. Price, Gerdeman and Cuttitta all rapped multiple safeties. Cuttitta drove in two runs and Price scored four times in game two.
The Beavers will be back in action on April 19 when they travel to Goshen College. The contest is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.