Bluffton splits with Defiance
Bluffton moves to 3-1 in HCAC following split with Defiance
April 1, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team routed Defiance 8-1 in the lidlifter, but the Yellow Jackets had their say in game two, picking up the split with a 6-2 victory. The Beavers moved to 16-8 overall and 3-1 in the Heartland Conference while Defiance kept pace at 3-1 in the HCAC and 13-8 on the year.
Four first inning runs by the Beavers, including back-to-back home runs by Lindsey Miller (Wapakoneta) and game one starter Brooke Babcock (Findlay) left the Yellow Jackets and Defiance ace Justine Johnston shellshocked. Junior Jayme Marbaugh (Ohio City/Parkway) singled down the left field line with one out and she moved up a base when Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) reached on a Defiance error. Miller parked her sixth dinger of the season over the wall in center field for a 3-0 lead and Babcock wasted no time making it a four-run lead with a shot to left field.
Defiance plated its only score of game one in the top of the second on a solo homer by Kayla Crager, but the Beavers reclaimed their four-run advantage in the home half when Marbaugh singled home Danielle Shortsle (Alma, Mich./Alma) who drew a leadoff walk.
Babcock, who worked around trouble in both the fifth and sixth innings, helped herself at the plate again in the bottom of the fith when she smoked a Johnston offering, a line shot that just cleared the fence in right field for an 8-1 lead. Babcock's bomb plated Marbaugh and Miller who was intentionally walked to get to her.
The heart of Bluffton's lineup combined to go 10-of-13 against Johnston who just fired a no-hitter against Anderson last weekend. Babcock was 2-of-3 with 4 RBI and two homers. Miller went 2-of-2 with three RBI and two runs scored. Standout third baseman Jayme Marbaugh finished 3-of-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Kellie Kenney (Toledo/Emmanuel Baptist) picked up two hits and Osborne went 1-of-2 with a sacrifice.
Brooke Babcock improved to 8-4 with her complete game five-hitter. She allowed just one run and fanned nine Yellow Jackets without a walk in the victory.
Bluffton was unable to take advantage of the momentum from game one as the bats went silent and the defense struggled to make routine plays in the nightcap. Kenney worked around two first inning errors and a walk to keep Defiance off the scoreboard in the first inning. Lindsey Miller then made it 1-0 when her single through the right side picked up Marbaugh who drew a one-out walk in the home half.
With two outs and nobody on in the top of the third, Marah Robinson and Mallory Faling gave Defiance a lead it never relinquished with back-to-back taters. The Jackets added solo runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to push their lead to 4-1 after five.
Kelly Schnipke continued to keep the Bluffton batters off balance, holding the Beavers hitless in innings three, four and five. The visitors tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the seventh thanks to an Amanda Auzins double to the gap in left center.
Danielle Shortsle made it 6-2 with her RBI double down the right field line, but Allison White's (Lima/Shawnee) run ended the scoring as Defiance forced the split when Schnipke retired Torrie Wilson (Delphos/Jefferson) to end the game.
Kenney fell to 6-3 on the year with the loss. She gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits in six innings of work. The senior allowed just one walk and she finished with three strikeouts. Four errors and only six hits kept the Beavers from completing a sweep of Defiance.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, April 4, when the Beavers travel to Franklin College for a pair of games with the Grizzlies. The HCAC series is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.