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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 9:27 PM

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Beavers dropped 2 in softball action

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University fast-pitch softball offense went south in game one and the defense followed suit in the 11 a.m. contest with Dominican as the Lady Beavers slipped to 2-2 following a pair of losses on Tuesday at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Wilmington limited Bluffton to a Jess Kuzara (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) triple down the right-field line in the first inning as Danielle Monnier tossed a 1-hitter for a 3-0 victory which helped the Quakers improve to 2-3 on the season.

The Beavers had game two in hand, 5-1, before a pair of runs in the fifth inning and three more in the seventh propelled Dominican to an improbable 6-5 victory.

Chloe Shell (Covington) fell to 1-1 after giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits in two innings of work. She struck out three and did not issue a walk. An error to open the second inning set up the only scoring in the first game. The Quakers took advantage with a bunt single and after Biegler was unable to get her sacrifice bunt down, she drove a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left center for a 3-0 Wilmington lead.

Emily Kolezynski (Strongsville) and Emily Scupholm (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) combined to toss four shutout innings but Monnier was in control all morning, needing just 99 pitches in the 3-0 victory.

Bluffton jumped right back into action less than 20 minutes later after sliding over from Lee County Field 3 to Field 4. The Beavers appeared to have awakened when they bolted out to a 3-0 lead. Shelby Erford (Paulding) led off with a single up the middle before Katie Musgrave (Doylestown/Chippewa) drew a walk. Ariana Muffo (New Athens, Ill./New Athens) got her sacrifice bunt down to move both Beavers into scoring position.

Kuzara’s base knock plated Erford and a wild pitch allowed Kuzara to move up 60 feet. Musgrave scored on another wild pitch and Jo Bondra’s (Highland Heights/Mayfield) bunt and ensuing rundown enabled Brittany Baker (Springboro) to make it 3-0.

A 2-bagger by Muffo followed by a walk and wild pitch to Kuzara put both runners in scoring position with no outs in the top of the third. When Bondra reached on a fielder’s choice that netted no outs despite two Bluffton runners within arm’s reach of each other at the hot corner, the Beavers had the bases juiced with just one down. Emily Kolezynski legged out an infield single to score Muffo for the only run of the inning.

With Bluffton up 4-1, the Stars coughed it up twice in the fifth as Kuzara scored for a 5-1 advantage. Dominican responded with two tallies in the home half courtesy of a pair of Bluffton errors that resulted in a pair of unearned runs.

The Beaver offense was unable to get untracked in the sixth and seventh and when Dominican came to bat in the final frame fans could feel the momentum continuing to turn in their favor. The home team on the scoreboard put together four hits and used a Bluffton error to throw three runs on the scoreboard before the Beavers could record the second out of the inning as DU improved to 3-1 with the 6-5 come-from-behind victory.

Kuzara went 2-of-3 with a run scored and an RBI, finishing the day 3-of-4 at the dish. The Beavers were outhit 11-6 and both teams finished with three errors. Alyssa Domico did the damage for Dominican, going 4-of-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Shell took the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work. She struck out one and walked two while throwing 99 pitches, including 61 for strikes.

The Beavers will re-focus before they return to action today at the Cape Coral Complex. Bluffton again hits the field at 9 a.m. when they meet Alverno on Field 4.

———

BU baseballers capture Greyhounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Runs went on the board with reckless abandon in the first four innings but it was a pair of Bluffton scores in the eighth that proved to be the difference as the Beavers stunned Moravian College 9-7 Tuesday.

The Greyhounds were coming off wins over nationally-ranked #25 Adrian College and #17 Keystone as well as a sweep of Heidelberg.

Bluffton improved to 2-1 on the season, while Moravian dropped to 5-2.

The Beavers went up 2-0 in the first thanks to a Moravian error, a wild pitch and a Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) RBI single. Moravian answered right back with a pair of unearned runs, making the score 2-2 after the first frame.

Junior Michael Alexander (Monroe) doubled home Christian Vail (Lucas) in the second and then he crossed the dish when David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) grounded out.

Moravian tried to put its stamp on the game with four runs in the bottom of the third for a 6-4 lead, however, Alexander put another jolt into the Greyhounds with a 2-run triple and 7-6 lead an inning later. Moravian knotted the score with two hits and a run in the home half before the pitching took over for both teams.

Vail got it done with an RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth. Jeff Roth’s (Bellevue) single capped the scoring as Bluffton showed it has the tools to compete with anyone as the Beavers finished off Moravian by a 9-7 count.

Alexander paced the Bluffton bats, going 2-of-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Roth added two hits and Vail scored twice. Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) worked four innings of shutout relief for the victory. He struck out two and allowed just three hits. Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) worked the final two outs of the eighth before Ianiro came in from left field to earn the save.

Bluffton will enjoy the day off on Wednesday before playing a doubleheader with St. Mary’s Thursday. The first game is slated to start at noon.

 

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