Bluffton pitching rules day three at RSG
Patton and Shell shine in wins over Aurora and Baldwin-Wallace
March 7, 2012
KISSIMMEE, Florida - The Bluffton University softball team picked up where it left off Tuesday afternoon when the Beavers throttled pre-season #22 Hiram College 7-1. A pair of superb complete games turned in by freshmen Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) and Chloe Shell (Covington) propelled Bluffton to a 5-1 record after three days at the Rebel Spring Games. The Beavers broke through for two ninth-inning runs in a 4-3 win over Aurora before avenging their only loss of the season with a convincing 6-1 victory over Baldwin-Wallace on Wednesday, March 7, 2012.
Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) put Bluffton up 1-0 with a double to right center which plated fellow senior Emily Manahan (Columbus/Watterson) in the bottom of the second. Aurora answered back quickly when the visitors on the scoreboard took advantage of a couple miscues following Tristan Wilcox bloop hit to left center, making it 1-1 in the third.
Pitching ruled the next four frames as the game was still knotted at one following seven innings of play. With the international tie-breaker in place, Aurora went up 2-1 with a run in the eighth. Bluffton was primed for victory when an error had freshman Brittany Baker (Springboro) at second as the go-ahead run with nobody out. A flyball and walk put runners at first and second before a ground ball double play ended the threat and sent the game to the ninth.
Aurora again got the clutch hit it needed to make the score 3-2 with Bluffton coming to the plate. An Alexandra Haugh (Highland, Ind./Andrean ) sacrifice bunt and Chelsie Osborne RBI single tied the game at three with no outs. Shelby Wade caught a break when her ball up the middle deflected off the pitcher. An Aurora error at second loaded the bases for senior standout Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) who lifted the game-winning sacrifice fly to left, scoring Osborne for the exciting 4-3 victory.
Freshman Megan Patton went the distance, tossing all nine innings while improving to 2-0 on the season. She fanned four and walked three while not allowing an earned run on five hits. Lindsay Robertson (Cincinnati/Northwest), Manahan and Osborne all finished with two hits. Osborne drove in two runs and scored the game-winner.
The Beavers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two despite a pair of groundouts to start the game. Robertson, who leads the team with a .533 batting average, continued her torrid play with a two-bagger to left field which picked up fellow freshman Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.). Emily Manahan followed with a run-scoring single to left.
Osborne knocked in Haugh following her double over the third base bag in the top of the fourth inning and two frames later, pinch hitter Amanda Wooley (Tipp City/Miami East) plated Osborne for a 4-0 advantage.
Following a walk to Brittany Baker in the seventh, Clark launched an RBI double to the wall in right center. Pinch runner Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) crossed the dish on Emily Manahan's base hit to left. The Yellow Jackets picked up three of their seven hits for the game in the seventh frame, but one run was all the Yellow Jackets could muster in the 6-1 loss to the Beavers.
Chloe Shell (2-0) was lights out for the second consecutive day, allowing just a seventh-inning run on seven hits in her complete game victory. She continued to make batters earn their way on base, having tossed 18 innings this season without giving up a walk.
Robertson went 3-of-4 in game two, giving her a 5-of-6 day with three doubles and two free passes from an Aurora club that pitched around her after a pair of two-baggers. Manahan, Osborne and Clark all rapped two hits apiece. Bluffton pounded 13 hits, including four doubles in the 6-1 win over the Yellow Jackets, avenging a 7-3 loss at the hands of B-W on Tuesday.
Bluffton returns to Oren Brown on Thursday, March 8, for a 9 a.m. meeting with Westminster College before a clash Methodist at 11 a.m.