Bluffton picks up split with Heidelberg
March 28, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A convincing 9-3 victory over visiting Heidelberg University on Friday, March 28, was not enough to keep Bluffton from its third straight split in the last eight days as the Beavers fell 10-4 in the nightcap on a cold and windy afternoon in Bluffton. The Student Princes moved to 10-4 overall, while Bluffton stands 11-7 heading into a conference series with Rose-Hulman on Sunday afternoon.
A three-run Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) bomb that stayed inside the right field pole put the Beavers up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill.) and Brittany Baker (Springboro) crossed the dish before a line drive double play ended the inning.
Two Bluffton errors in the second allowed Heidelberg to make the score 3-1, but Katie Musgrave (Doylestown/Chippewa) responded with an RBI single which picked up Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) in the bottom of the frame.
Solo home runs by Kyleah Brey in the third and sixth made the score 6-3, however, the home team quashed any thoughts of a comeback with three tallies in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back doubles by Muffo and Baker to open the inning put runners on second and third and Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) did her part with a ground ball between first and second that allowed both of them to score. Senior Shelby Erford (Paulding) got in on the action with a run-scoring single down the left field line that capped the scoring in Bluffton's 9-3 victory.
Muffo enjoyed her new spot atop the order, going 3-of-3 with two runs scored, two doubles and a stolen base. Kuzara drove in four runs to power the offense and Baker scored twice. Musgrave went 2-of-3 in game one. Junior Chloe Shell (Covington) improved to 5-4 after limiting Heidelberg to two runs, one earned, on five hits in five innings.
The Beavers had numerous chances to blow game two open in the early going, but the home team managed just one run in each of the first four innings as Bluffton carried a slim 4-3 lead into the fifth.
Heidelberg put together three straight hits to open the fifth as the Student Princes knotted the score up at 4-4. A five-run sixth spelled doom for the Beavers as five hits and another error added up to a 9-4 deficit with just two frames to play. The visitors tacked on a final run in the seventh for a 10-4 victory and series split with Bluffton.
Musgrave, who went 4-of-6 on the day, and Bondra both finished with two hits in the final contest. Kolezynski took the loss after allowing three runs, one earned, on two hits in one inning of relief.
Bluffton welcomes Rose-Hulman on Sunday, March 30, for a Heartland Conference doubleheader with the Engineers. The first contest is slated for 1 p.m.