Bluffton sweeps Hanover
Bluffton secures share of Heartland Conference championship
April 28, 2008
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team held off Hanover College on Sunday, April 27, 2008, to claim a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship with Rose-Hulman. The Beavers improved to 25-15 overall and 13-3 in the HCAC, while Hanover fell to 3-25, with a 0-12 mark in conference action. Bluffton last secured the HCAC regular-season title in 2004 when the Beavers went 26-8 overall and 12-2 in the HCAC.
Bluffton 6, Hanover 3
Bluffton took the 1-0 lead over the Panthers in the second inning. Kelley Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Abby Snider (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta). She moved up a base on an infield groundout and crossed the plate when Hanover misplayed Torrie Wilson's (Delphos/Jefferson) bunt.
Hanover knotted the contest with a Jennifer Nead homer in the bottom of the fifth.
The Beavers plated a run in the top of the sixth when Amanda Harris (Arcanum/Arcanum) tripled home Abby Snider for a 2-1 lead over the Panthers.
A Halie Norton double in the bottom of the sixth made the score 3-2 in favor of the Panthers as Emily Merrill and Caitlin Wiedemer crossed the plate.
Bluffton rallied with four runs in the top of the seventh to pull out the 6-3 game one victory. A pair of one out errors set the stage for a Bluffton comeback. Brooke Babcock (Findlay/Findlay) followed the errors with an RBI single before Abby Snider's triple allowed Kenney and Kayla Williams (Elida/Elida) to cross the plate. The third Panther error of the inning allowed Snider to make the final score 6-3.
Tiffany Buckmaster (Lima/Bath), Kenney and Harris paced the Beavers with two hits each. Kenney and Snider scored two runs apiece, while Snider and Harris both finished with two RBI.
Babcock improved to 12-11, limiting Hanover to three runs on six hits in seven innings of work. She fanned a season-best 11 batters and walked just two in the complete game victory.
Bluffton 9, Hanover 7
Bluffton jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning in game two. Abby Snider ripped a two-bagger to open the inning. Kayla Williams picked up Snider with a base hit and she moved to second on the throw. A Torrie Wilson single sent Williams home for the 2-0 advantage.
The Panthers used a Bluffton error to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the frame.
Allison White (Lima/Shawnee) crossed the plate in the fourth inning when Buckmaster reached on a Hanover throwing error that sailed down the right field line.
The Beavers opened up what appeared to be a comfortable 6-1 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. With Babcock at second base and Abby Snider on first, Amanda Harris made it 4-1 with her RBI single. One batter later, Torrie Wilson delivered a two-RBI base knock that scored Harris and Snider for the 6-1 margin.
Hanover found its stroke in the bottom of the sixth inning, putting together seven hits for six runs before Brooke Babcock came on and retired Caitlin Wiedemer with the Beavers trailing 7-6.
A Hanover error followed by an Amanda Harris double put two runners in scoring position for Kayla Williams with no outs. She responded with a single that plated Snider and Harris for an 8-7 lead. Wilson's third hit of the game made the final score 9-7 as Babcock worked around another Bluffton error in the bottom of the inning to pick up her second victory of the day.
Torrie Wilson led the Beavers at the plate, going 3-of-4 with three RBI. Williams was 2-of-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Snider went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Babcock and Harris both collected multiple hits and Harris scored twice in the game two victory.
Babcock worked 1.1 innings and gave up no runs on no hits to improve to 13-11 on the season. Bluffton starter Kellie Kenney gave up seven runs on 12 hits in 5.2 innings in the circle.
Following the sweep at Hanover, Bluffton's 13th win in its last 14 Heartland Conference contests, the Beavers secured their third HCAC regular-season championship and first since 2004. Bluffton shares the title with Rose-Hulman, but the Engineers won the right to host the four-team double elimination tournament as the number one seed thanks to RHIT's sweep at Bluffton on March 29. The Beavers will play the number three seed on Friday, May 2, at Terre Haute, Indiana. Please check the softball schedule page for opponent and start time.