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Bluffton rallies for split with Adrian

March 15, 2013
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant

BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team split its doubleheader with Adrian College on a cold Friday, March 15, 2013. Bluffton lost the first game, 9-0, in six innings, but the Beavers rallied from a 6-1 deficit in game two for a 10-9 win that gave Bluffton an unlikely split with the Bulldogs.

The first game got blown open in the second inning when Adrian put up four unearned runs thanks to a pair of Bluffton miscues. Adrian struck for two more in the fifth and three in the sixth. Bluffton broke up Brooke Stewart's no-hitter with a pair of safeties in the sixth inning, but it was too little, too late as Adrian wrapped up a 9-0 mercy-rule victory in Bluffton's home opener.

SHELBY ERFORD (Paulding) and SHELBY WADE (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) poked back-to-back singles to open the sixth for Bluffton's only hits in game one. Sophomore CHLOE SHELL(Covington) fell to 3-3 after surrendering nine runs on 11 hits. She struck out three and walked one batter.

Game two took a total team effort to come away with the victory. The Beavers got on the board in the third when ARIANNA MUFFO (New Athens, Ill.) singled to center, scoring fellow sophomore EMILY KOLEZYNSKI (Strongsville) from second.

The lead was short lived as Adrian put six runs on the board for a 6-1 lead after three and a half innings. The bottom of frame four started with a walk to KATIE CLARK (New Palestine, Ind.). Shelby Wade doubled to left center. ALEXANDRA HAUGH (Highland, Ind./Andrean) followed with a pinch hit double to right, scoring Clark and Wade. KRISTINA HAMLER(Reynoldsburg/Pickerington Central) singled before junior captain CHELSEA WEITZ(Dayton/Carroll) hit into a fielder's choice which plated Haugh. Muffo's infield single with the bases full sent Weitz home and Kolezynski scored on a wild pitch. JESSICA KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) reached on an error which allowed Shelby Erford to score and it put the Beavers up, 7-6. 

Bluffton added another run in the fifth, pushing the lead to 8-6. Adrian came right back and tied the game in the top of the sixth, 8-8.

In bottom of the sixth, Clark and Wade laced consecutive singles and they both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Coach Bruder called NATALIE NIKITAS (Jeffersonville, Ind.) off the bench to pinch hit and the junior delivered with a two-run single to right for a 10-8 Bluffton lead. Adrian battled to the end, but Shell induced a groundout to third base to end the game with Bluffton closing out the 10-9 victory and series split.

Erford, Muffo, Clark and Wade all chipped in with two hits for the Beavers. Clark, Wade and Kolezynski scored two runs each, while Muffo, Haugh and Nikitas all finished with two RBI.

Shell worked the final 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits for the victory (4-3) thanks to a Bluffton offense that showed signs of life after being two-hit in the lidlifter.

The Beavers are off on Saturday before traveling to Olivert College for a doubleheader with the Comets on Wednesday, March 20. The first contest is slated for 3:30 PM.