Bluffton bombs Engineers in sweep of Rose
Bluffton puts up 18 runs in HCAC sweep at Rose-Hulman
March 30, 2013
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team brought home two wins against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) on Saturday, March 30, 2013. The Beavers took the first game, 9-2, and the second game, 9-5. Bluffton improved to 11-11 overall and 3-1 in the HCAC while snapping a four-game skid. RHIT is now 5-11 overall and 1-3 in the HCAC.
The Beavers started quickly, putting three runs on the board in the first inning. Junior Shelby Erford (Paulding) got the Beavers started with a walk to open the game. She moved to second when senior Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) executed a sacrifice bunt. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) singled and then advanced on the throw while Erford rounded third and crossed the plate for the Beavers. Sophomore Jessica Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) was next up for the Beavers and she sent one over the fence, capping a three-run first inning.
In the second inning the Beavers came out and put two more on the board. Sophomore Alexandra Haugh (Highland, Ind./Andrean) led off with a single. Following in Haugh's footsteps, freshman Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) singled with Haugh reaching third on a Rose throwing error. Knippen advanced to second on a groundout by Erford. Wade drove in two runs when her double sent both Haugh and Knippen across the plate.
The Beavers put another run on the board in the fourth inning thanks to three errors from RHIT. Knippen crossed the plate when sophomore Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) reached first on a fielder's choice, making the score 6-0.
Bluffton came back in the sixth and put up its last three runs of the game. Knippen opened the frame with a base knock. Erford reached first on a fielder's choice at Knippen's expense. Erford stole second to get into scoring position. Wade came up to bat and hit a single, sending Erford to third. She promptly stole second base, putting Beavers at second and third. Clark drew a walk, loading the bases for Muffo who also walked for the easy RBI as Erford crossed the plate. Sophomore Brittany Baker (Springboro) reached on an error by Rose's first baseman, allowing Clark and Muffo to cross the plate.
The Beavers led by Wade who went 2-of-3 with two RBI. Kuzara and Knippen both went 2-of-4. Sophomore pitcher Chloe Shell (Covington) added another win to her total, improving to 6-4 on the season. She scattered 10 hits, allowing just two runs, with two strikeouts and two walks.
The visitors put up their first run in the third inning when Erford crossed the plate. Erford reached first thanks to a two-out single. Knippen followed with a double which sent Erford across the plate.
With Bluffton clinging to a 1-0 lead after five innings, the Beavers added three runs to their total in the top of the sixth inning. Muffo started the inning by hitting a double and she was followed by Kuzara who filled first base after getting walked. Baker poked a single, loading the bases for Haugh who grounded out to second base for an RBI when Muffo crossed the plate. Sophomore Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) went in to pinch run for Baker and junior Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) pinch hit for Weitz. Kuzara touched home following a RHIT balk and Bondra advanced to third. She crossed the plate when Nikitas reached on a fielder's choice. The Beavers ended the inning with two groundouts.
The Beavers added five more runs to their total in the top of the seventh inning after RHIT put three runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Clark and Muffo both hit one-out singles, putting Beavers on first and second base. Kuzara then came up to the plate and hit her second home run of the day, driving in three runs for a 7-3 lead. Following a walk to Baker, junior Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) sent one over the fence to round out the Bluffton scoring for the game. RHIT tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but could only muster two more tallies.
Leading the Beavers were Erford who went 3-of-5 at the plate, Muffo who was 2-of-4 and Baker who went 2-of-3 at the dish. Also contributing to the Bluffton win were Kuzaro and Weitz who each had a home run in the seventh which accounted for five last-inning runs. Junior pitcher Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) got the win, moving to 4-5 on the season. She finished the game with six strikeouts and only one walk.
Bluffton will take Easter off before traveling to Olivet College for its fourth doubleheader in five days on Monday, April 1. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.