#23 Trine pulls out sweep of Bluffton
#23 Trine improves to 13-3 with sweep of Beavers
March 20, 2012
ANGOLA, Indiana - The Bluffton University softball team dropped a pair of games at Trine University on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The Thunder improved to 13-3 on the season, while Bluffton slipped to 10-10 overall after a heartbreaking 5-4 loss in eight innings in which the visitors led 4-2 in the fifth.
Bluffton had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the first and only managed one score as Trine avoided huge damage in the opening frame of game one. Senior Emily Manahan (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) picked up fellow captain Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) for the early lead, but Trine closed the door, not allowing another run in the contest.
The home team scored in each frame except the fifth en route to a 9-1 mercy-rule victory in six innings. Bluffton put together just six hits, compared to a Trine squad that smacked 14 safeties, including five for extra bases. Freshman DP Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) went 3-of-3 to pace the Bluffton offense.
Sophomore Kayla Owens (Cincinnati/McAuley) took the loss after allowing six runs, three earned, on 10 hits in just 3.2 innings of work. She walked two and struck out three batters.
The Beavers again struck with a run in the top of the first to start game two. Katie Clark doubled home Jenelle Theisen (Carleton, MI/St. Mary Catholic Central), before Trine answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame.
Bluffton finally got its bats going in the fifth frame, scratching out three runs on three hits and one Thunder error. Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) led off with a single to center. One out later, freshman Mackenzie Bedlion (MarshallvilleSmithville) ripped an RBI two-bagger to center field. Pinch hitter Natalie Nikitas (Jeffersonville, Ind.) picked Bedlion up with a double to left before Shelby Erford (Paulding) crossed the dish thanks to a Trine miscue.
An inning later, Trine spoiled the party with a two-run dinger from Sarah Belote following a one-out walk. Bluffton was unable to put a run up in the top of the eighth with the international tie-breaker in place as the score remained 4-4 going to home half of the inning. Andi Gasco singled home the game-winning run to cap the sweep, 5-4.
Clark went 1-of-2 to finish the day 4-of-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Freshman Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) fell to to 3-4 after going the distance. She allowed five runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work.
The Beavers finish their MIAA slate when they host Olivet College on Saturday, March 24, 2012. The first contest is slated for 1 p.m. and it will mark the fourth doubleheader this season against a squad from the MIAA.