Manchester 6, Bluffton 2
Bluffton season comes to an end in HCAC Tournament
May 5, 2012
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Indiana - The Bluffton University softball season came to an abrupt end on Saturday, May 5, at Anderson University after the Beavers dropped an elimination game of the HCAC Tournament to Manchester, 6-2. The Beavers ended the season with a 26-17 overall record.
The Beavers struck first when senior catcher Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield) scored on a Katie Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) double in the third inning. Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) scored on a wild pitch a batter later to give Bluffton a 2-0 advantage over the Spartans.
The Beavers held the lead for an inning until Kayla Yates hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to put Manchester on top, 3-2. The Spartans added two more runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back singles by Kendall Jefferies and Amy Hommema that extended the lead to 5-2.
The Spartans tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth to make the lead 6-2 and the Beavers were unable to close the gap in the top of the seventh as Manchester advanced to the tournament championship. Bluffton loaded the sacks with one down in the last inning, but the Beavers were unable to cut into the four-run deficit.
Price finished the day with a 1-of-2 effort at the plate. The senior walked twice and scored one run. Clark went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) took the loss in the circle. The freshman tossed 4.1 innings in her third consecutive start of the tournament, gave up six runs, four earned, struck out two and walked two. Freshman Jessica Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) and Osborne were both named to the HCAC All-Tournament Team.
The Beavers continued their run of consistency with a sixth consecutive trip to the four-team Heartland Conference tournament. Manchester led regular season champion 2-1 in the final before a five-run Anderson outburst sent the Ravens to their well-deserved second straight NCAA Regional berth.