March 8, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - After taking a day off to enjoy the sights that Florida has to offer, the Bluffton University softball squad took to the diamond to face off against The WPI Engineers and St. Joseph's Monks on Thursday, March 8. In game one, Bluffton was outscored 8-3 in the final two innings as WPI was able to complete the comeback with a 13-12 win over the Beavers. Following the loss, Bluffton's offense went stagnant in game two as they fell to St. Joseph's, 3-2. The Beavers dropped to 2-6 following a pair of losses on day four.
Bluffton opened up the first inning with flair as they notched their first run of the game with an RBI by BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont). The Beavers added three more runs for a 4-0 advantage after just half a frame. The Engineers came right back in the bottom side, cutting the deficit to 4-3 entering the top of the second.
The score was 5-3 following an RBI single by CAYLIN MORSTADT (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) in the second inning. WPI didn't let up as two runs in the bottom of the third tied the game at 5-5.
Bluffton jumped back on top with three tallies in the fourth, including an RBI single from COURTNEY JASINSKI (Englewood/Northmont), a throwing error and a sacrifice fly by CHELSEA ZOLTOWSKI (Sylvania/Southview). The Beavers would continue to add to their score in the fifth inning after a wild pitch scored MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley) to make it 9-5. Another run for Bluffton off a wild pitch made it 10-5 in the top of the sixth inning. The Beavers would continue their scoring run in the inning with a Makenzie Schmidt RBI for an 11-5 advantage.
Four runs by the Engineers in the bottom of the sixth would cut Bluffton's lead to 11-9. A Courtney Jasinski one-bagger in the seventh scored a run to put the Beavers up 12-9, but Bluffton was unable to stop the offensive firepower of WPI as four runs in the bottom of the seventh led to a 13-12 loss in the first game of the afternoon.
Leading the charge at the plate was Courtney Jasinski who knocked home three runs on three hits. Caylin Morstadt and JOSIE MCELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) each added three hits and two runs to the scoring column. Senior Chelsea Zoltowski chipped in a pair of RBI. The Beavers pounded out 15 hits as a team.
Taking the mound for the Beavers was JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) who would drop to 1-3 on the season. The senior pitcher allowed 13 runs, 12 earned, on 18 hits with six walks in a complete-game 161-pitch effort.
Game two saw the Monks go up early in the first inning, scoring three times before the Beavers went to the plate. Bluffton was hitless until the bottom of the fourth inning when a triple by Brittany Huff ended the drought. They netted their first run of the ballgame off a wild pitch that allowed Huff to scurry home. Bluffton scored again to make it 3-2 after Caylin Morstadt smoked a single up the middle that picked up Josie McElroy. The Beavers continued to do the job in the field but they were unable to muster up much offense, dropping a 3-2 decision in the Thursday finale.
Brittany Huff smacked a triple and scored for the Beavers, while sophomore MEGAN HILL (Arcadia) notched a double.
On the hill for Bluffton was senior NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) who dropped to 1-3 with the loss. Tossing all 7.0 innings, Thomas allowed three runs off seven hits while walking three batters.
The Beavers will cap off their action in sunny Florida on Friday, March 9, when they face off against Westminster at 1:30 p.m. and then Webster at 3:45 following game one. You can keep up to date on all the games on Twitter @Bluffton_sports and at www.bluffton.edu/athletics.