By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball team hosted Franklin College on Saturday, April 13. The Beavers dropped game one by a score of 7-4 as the late push for a comeback fell short. Franklin capped off the afternoon with a 9-1 mercy-rule victory over the Beavers.
Franklin did the bulk of its damage in the first two innings as the visitors scored two in the opening inning and followed up with three more in the top of the second. They tacked on two in the top of the fourth to add the extra point to the touchdown as they held a 7-0 advantage over the Beavers. While Franklin was doing damage, the Beavers managed just three hits in the first four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Casey Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) started things off with a double to left center. Taylor Steinke (Findlay) plated Clark with a single down the right field line to get the Beavers on the board.
Courtney Jasinski (Englewood/Northmont) opened the sixth with a single up the middle. Caylin Morstadt (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) followed with a two-run shot to right field, pulling the Beavers within 7-3. The Beavers added one more in the bottom of the seventh as Steinke scored after a leadoff double to open the inning.
Steinke had a great game at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Jasinski went 2-of-4 with an RBI and a run. Four other Beavers had a hit, including Kelsey Reeder (Galion/Northmor), Morstadt, Megan Hill (Arcadia) and Clark.
Jasinski got the start in the circle. She went two innings, giving up five runs on six hits and dropping to 0-5 on the season. Katie McCord (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) tossed the final five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits.
Game two was a one-sided battle as Franklin dominated the Beavers, defeating them 9-1 in five innings of action. The two losses on the day dropped Bluffton to 6-22 overall and 1-5 in Heartland Conference play.
Franklin started off game two in similar fashion to game one as they put up five runs in the first two innings to jump ahead of the Beavers early. In the bottom of the fourth, Hill hit a solo bomb over the right field fence to get the Beavers on the board.
In the top of the fifth, Franklin hit two homers and scored four runs to bury the Beavers at 9-1. Bluffton went down one-two-three in the home half, unable to extend the game.
Hill was a perfect 2-of-2, including her solo shot in the fourth. Freshman Molly Bollinger (Lima/Shawnee) got the start on the mound, giving up eight runs on 12 hits in four innings of work while falling to 2-5 on the season. Alexis Montemarano (Brook Park/Berea-Midpark) tossed the final inning, giving up one run on one hit.
Franklin had 13 hits in the game while Bluffton finished with just four. The Beavers committed all three errors in game two.
The Beavers hit the diamond against Anderson University when they travel to Indiana on Tuesday, April 16. The first game is set to start at 3:30 PM. Go Beavers!