Beavers rally for wins over Alverno and Northland
March 5, 2014
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University softball team faced early 2-0 deficits in both games, but the Beaver faithful were treated to a pair of comeback victories over Alverno and Northland on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Bluffton improved to 4-2 on the young season thanks to a pitching staff that allowed just four runs, two earned, on the day.
Alvernia jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Beavers thanks to a leadoff double, a walk and a Bluffton error. The offensive woes continued until the fourth inning when Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) reached following a muffed throw at first base. Kuzara stole second and came around when Jo Bondra (Highland Heights/Mayfield) ripped a two-bagger down the left field line.
An inning later, the Beavers got it done with two outs. With Katie Musgrave (Doylestown/Chippewa) and Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill./New Athens) both in scoring position, Kuzara singled through the left side for two RBI and she took second when the throw went home. Brittany Baker (Springboro) singled her in for a 4-2 lead.
Chloe Shell (Covington) allowed just one hit, which was erased on a double play, over the final two frames as she improved to 2-2 on the season. Shell gave up two runs, just one earned, on four hits in her complete-game victory. She fanned five and walked two while tossing 103 pitches.
Looking for its first win of the season, Northland College put runs on the scoreboard in the second and fourth innings for a 2-0 lead over the Beavers. However, a five-run fifth proved to be the difference as Bluffton took advantage of five walks and a hit batter. Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) stayed perfect at the plate with her second base knock up the middle to start inning five. Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) capped off the scoring with a bunt single that plated Kuzara for the 5-2 lead.
Pinch runner Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll) stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scurried home when Katie Musgrave's flyout to center drew a throw that skidded to the backstop.
Jess Kuzara continued her torrid hitting to start the season, going 2-of-3 with an RBI and a run scored. She leads the Beavers with a .563 batting average (9-of-16) and a .875 slugging percentage.
Kayla Owens earned the win when Bluffton scored its five fifth-inning runs after she induced a groundout to end the fourth frame. Emily Kolezynski gave up just two runs, one earned in 6.2 innings of work. She set down six Lumberjills and did not issue a free pass while earning her first save of the season.
Bluffton returns to the Cape Coral complex on Thursday, March 6, when the Beavers take on the Milwaukee School of Engineering at 9 a.m. on Field 4.