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Bluffton splits with Transy in HCAC opener

March 22, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University softball team rallied for is second straight come-from behind victory in the HCAC opener at Transylvania, but an 8-3 deficit in game two proved too much to overcome as the Beavers came away with a split on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Bluffton moved to 10-6 and 1-1 in the HCAC, while Transy stands at 7-11 and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference.

Bluffton fell behind 4-2 in its conference opener at Transylvania on Saturday, but a five-run sixth propelled the Beavers to a 7-4 victory over the Pioneers. With two down and runners on second and third, EMILY KOLEZYNSKI(Strongsville) knotted the score with a two-run single up the middle which plated JESS KUZARA (Flat Rock, Mich./Huron) and JO BONDRA(Highland Heights/Mayfield). CHELSEA WEITZ (Dayton/Carroll) singled and moved to second on the throw before a Transylvania error made the score 6-4 when she followed Kolezynski across the dish. Senior SHELBY ERFORD (Paulding) singled home KATIE MUSGRAVE(Doylestown/Chippewa) for what would be the final score of the contest.

EMILY KOLEZYNSKI (Strongsville) collected the win while CHLOE SHELL (Covington), who started and threw the first four innings, slammed the door in the sixth and seventh for her first save of the season.

Erford went 2-of-4 to pace the Bluffton offense. Kolezynski drove in two runs and seven different Beavers crossed the plate in the 7-4 victory.

Bluffton jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in game two thanks to four hits. BRITTANY BAKER (Springboro), Bondra and ASHLEY KNIPPEN(Wapakoneta) all drove in runs for the visitors in the first frame.

Back-to-back doubles to kick off the home half of the first made it 3-1, but Transy followed that right up with six runs on seven hits an inning later as the Pioneers opened up a 7-3 spread. A Bluffton error and a DEBURGER homer added up to a lead the Pioneers would never relinquish.

Transy tacked on an important insurance run in the fourth, going up 8-3 before Bluffton made its run at the home team. The Beavers pulled within two, 8-6, when Brittany Baker ripped a two-run single up the middle and then scored on Kolezynski's bunt single in the top of the fifth.

The Beavers had the heart of their heart order up an inning later with Erford and ARIANA MUFFO (New Athens, Ill.) on second and third and just one down, but consecutive groundouts ended the threat and Bluffton's chance to complete the sweep.

Muffo was a perfect 4-of-4 with a run scored in the loss. Erford, Bondra and Kolezynski all added two hits in game two, while Kuzara and Baker scored two runs apiece. Baker drove in three runs for the Beavers.

Shell slipped to 4-4 on the season after surrendering seven runs, three earned, on seven hits in just 1.2 innings of work. EMILY SCUPHOLM (Cuyahoga Falls/Our Lady of the Elms) tossed 4.1 innings of superb relief, giving up just one run on six hits with one strikeout and two walks.

Bluffton is slated to host Alma College in a makeup game on Tuesday, March 25. The first contest is slated for 3:30 p.m.