Ravens sweep Bluffton at Anderson
Bluffton drops HCAC twin-bill at Anderson
April 9, 2013
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team lost both games at Anderson University on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The Beavers fell to 15-13 overall and 7-3 in the Heartland Conference.
The first game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Jessica Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) crossed the plate. She reached first on an error by Anderson's second baseman with one out in the inning. Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) was up next to bat for the Beavers and she reached on a fielder's choice as Kuzara moved to second on another Anderson error. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) grounded out to first, but advanced both runners in the process. Brittany Baker (Springboro) followed with a single, allowing Kuzara to cross the plate. Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll), who came on to run for Nikitas, was tagged out at home, ending the inning for the Beavers.
Anderson came out in the bottom of the fourth inning and responded, scoring all four of its runs thanks to five hits in the frame. Sophomore Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) worked two scoreless innings to keep Bluffton within striking distance, but the Beavers left the bags full in the seventh, three of eight runners Bluffton left on base, as the home team closed out the 4-1 victory.
The Beavers were led by Baker who was 2-for-3 at the plate. Starting pitcher Chloe Shell (Covington) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings of work.
Anderson came out ready to play in the second game and put up runs in the first, third, and fourth innings before the Beavers finally got untracked.
The Beavers scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to make a game of it. Shelby Erford (Paulding) opened the inning with a leadoff walk. Ashley Knippen's (Wapakoneta) single moved Erford to second. One out later, Kuzara came to the plate and her single loaded the bases for the Beavers. Muffo then delivered a two-run double which allowed both Erford and Knippen to cross the plate for the Beavers, making the score 6-2.
After AU tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Beavers scored two more runs in the sixth inning. Kolezynski was up first for the Beavers and she led off the frame with a base hit. For the second straight inning Knippen followed with a single, moving Kolezynski into scoring position. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, bringing Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) to the dish. She delivered with a two-run single, but the visitors were unable to continue their comeback as Anderson held on for the 7-4 vicotory and series sweep.
The Beavers were led by Muffo and Knippen who went 2-of-3 and 2-of-4, respectively. Kolezynski slipped to 1-3 on the season She gave up four runs on five hits in three innings in the circle. She finished with one strikeout and one walk.
Bluffton will look to shake off the dirt and move forward when the Beavers travel to Goshen College on Friday afternoon before hosting Franklin College on Saturday, April 13. The matchup with the Maple Leafs is slated for 3 p.m. at Goshen, Ind., on Friday.