March 14, 2012
ADRIAN, Michigan - The Bluffton University softball team scored a run in the seventh and another in the eighth to pull out an improbable 2-1 win at Adrian College in the opener on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. The Bulldogs (7-4) took game two by a 4-0 count as Bluffton moved to 8-6 on the season.
The home team put three hits together in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead when a BERTRAND single plated KATIE DEWYRE. Pitching ruled for the next five innings until Bluffton threatened to score in the top of the sixth. With two down, EMILY MANAHAN(Columbus/Bishop Watterson) singled up the middle, but pinch runner JENELLE THEISEN(Carleton, MI/St. Mary Catholic Central) was thrown out at the plate trying to tie the game.
Bluffton finally broke the ice an inning later when MEAGAN PRICE (Toledo/Springfield) laced an RBI single to left center, plating fellow senior CHELSIE OSBORNE (Chillicothe/Waverly) from second base. The Bulldogs had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the frame, but freshman MEGAN PATTON (Waynesfield/Perry) came on and induced a fielder's choice at the plate before fanning Bertrand to send the game into extra innings.
With the international tie-breaker in place, the Beavers were unable to get their sacrifice bunt down to start the eighth. However, Emily Manahan continued her clutch hitting with an RBI single up the gut, sending freshman BRITTANY BAKER (Springboro) home for a 2-1 lead. Patton set Adrian down in order to cinch Bluffton's first victory over the Bulldogs since Jayme Marbaugh pounded a walk-off homer at the Rebel Spring Games in 2009.
Freshman CHLOE SHELL (Covington) was superb in the circle, limiting a talented Adrian club to just one run on nine hits in 6.1 innings of work. She fanned three and did not issue a walk. Patton improved to 3-1 after tossing 1.2 inning of scoreless relief with one crucial strikeout in the seventh frame. Manahan paced the Bluffton offense with three hits and the game-winning RBI.
The home team again put a run on the scoreboard in the first inning when a wild pitch allowed leadoff hitter MAGGIE HEIN to cross the dish in spite of just one infield single for the Bulldogs in the frame. Bluffton managed one hit an inning in the early going, but the Beavers were unable to get to EBERHARDT who tossed 13 innings on the afternoon.
Adrian ended any thoughts of a re-enactment of game one when the Bulldogs took advantage of a Bluffton error and three-run triple by K. HINOJOSA in the bottom of the fifth. The Beavers went hitless over the final three innings as Adrian secured the split with a 4-0 shutout.
Patton slipped to 3-2 after allowing four runs, one earned, on four hits in five innings of work. Sophomore KAYLA OWENS (Cincinnati/McAuley) worked a perfect sixth for the Beavers.
Bluffton continues its run through the top of the MIAA when the Beavers welcome Alma College on Friday, March 16, 2012. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.