Bluffton dominates Salem State and Edgewood
March 7, 2014
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A week of fun in the sun came to an exciting end as the Bluffton University softball team improved to 8-2 on the season thanks to six straight wins at the Gene Cusic Classic. The Beavers took down Salem State by a 7-2 count in the 9 a.m. contest before blistering Edgewood to the tune of an 8-1 victory at 11 a.m. Bluffton was aggressive at the plate and the pitching continued to impress as the Beavers allowed no earned runs in 14 innings on Friday.
A two-run first in the opener set the tone for the day as Bluffton took advantage of a pair of errors and a Brittany Baker (Springboro) sacrifice fly to get on the scoreboard early. Chelsea Weitz (Dayton/Carroll), who finished the day 4-of-6 at the dish, doubled to lead off the second and she crossed the plate when Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill./New Athens) singled to left.
Salem State made it 3-1 when they took advantage of a Bluffton error in the third, but the Beavers responded with three runs in the home half of the frame. With two outs and the bases juiced, Weitz tripled to wall in left center for a 6-1 lead.
The visitors on the scoreboard used another Bluffton miscue to add an unearned tally in the fourth before the Beavers salted it away when Marissa Wilson (Farmersville/Valley View) put down a perfect squeeze bunt which plated Shelby Erford (Paulding) an inning later.
Weitz was a perfect 2-of-2 (triple and double) with three RBI and a run scored, while Erford, Muffo and Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) all added two hits apiece. Erford scored twice in the victory.
Standout junior hurler Chloe Shell (Covington) improved to 4-2 on the season after allowing two runs, none earned, on three hits with four strikeouts in five innings of work. Senior Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) fired two shutout frames to seal Bluffton's seventh win of the year.
Bluffton used a little small ball to go up 1-0 in game two when Kolezynski led off the first with an infield base hit. Muffo moved her over with a sacrifice bunt before Kolezynski stole third and came home on Jess Kuzara's (Flat Rock/Mich.) ground ball to second base.
The Beavers made it 4-0 in the second thanks to three hits and an Edgewood error. Chloe Shell legged out an infield single as Weitz and Katie Musgrave (Doylestown/Chippewa) motored home. A walk to Kuzara plated Shell and the rout was on.
A two-out walk to Musgrave paid dividends in the third when Weitz singled her home after a stolen base. Edgewood scored its lone run in the fourth after a Bluffton error to open the frame. Baker picked up Muffo with a single up the middle in the home half to push the lead back to five runs.
Baker went back to work in the sixth and her RBI single allowed Muffo to cross the plate before the Edgewood throw home got away and Kuzara capped the scoring at 8-1.
Emily Kolezynski improved to 2-0 on the year after allowing just one unearned run on three hits. A day after tossing a one-hitter in her first collegiate start, Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) worked four innings of scoreless relief for her first career save. She fanned two and allowed two hits with a walk.
Muffo, Weitz and Baker all finished with a pair of hits in the game two. Baker and Kuzara drove in two runs each, while Muffo and Musgrave both scored twice.
Bluffton is slated to travel to Adrian College on Wednesday, March 12. The first contest of a doubleheader with the Bulldogs is slated for 3:30 p.m. Check the Bluffton University softball schedule for weather related updates.