April 25, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton Beaver softball team hit the road to face off against the Manchester University Spartans in their last road matchup of the 2018 season on Wednesday, April 25. A sixth-inning comeback by the hosts led to an 8-3 Bluffton loss in the first game of the day. Manchester pasted 17 runs on the board in the first inning of game two en route to an 18-7 victory and series sweep of the Beavers. Bluffton fell to 8-23 on the season and 3-11 in the Heartland Conference.
Bluffton was able to strike gold in the top of the first after JOSIE McELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) clobbered a solo home run to left. A MEGAN HILL (Arcadia) RBI single plated CAYLIN MORSTADT (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) to put the Beavers up 2-0 in the second.
The Spartans answered in the bottom of the third with a long ball to cut their deficit to 2-1. In the top of the fifth, Bluffton extended its lead to 3-1 after BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont) singled home MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley). It was looking good for the Beavers, but a seven-run sixth inning for Manchester was too much to overcome as the visitors would fall in game one by an 8-3 count.
Taking the defeat on the mound was NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) who dropped to 5-10 overall on the season. Netting a total of 118 pitches in 5.2 innings of work, the senior hurler allowed eight runs but just one earned run off 12 hits while fanning a pair of batters and issuing just one walk on the day.
A three-run shot shot to left by Brittany Huff in the top of the first had Bluffton flying high in game two before Manchester unloaded with 17 runs in the home half of the frame. The Beavers fought back with four scores in the top of the third, but Manchester went on to post an 18-7 mercy-rule victory in five innings to secure the sweep.
Huff drove in three runs and scored twice, while Courtney Jasinski (Englewood/Northmont) led the Beavers with two hits, a run and an RBI.
Senior Jessie Madzia (Massillon/Tuslaw) took the loss after surrendering 12 runs on 10 hits in the first inning. Freshman Katie McCord (Lawrenceburg, IN/Lawrenceburg) worked 3.2 innings of relief, allowing six runs, but just one earned, on nine hits.
Bluffton will cap off its 2018 campaign with the Senior Day festivities on Saturday, April 28, when the Beavers welcome Rose-Hulman for a 1 p.m. start. Come out and cheer on your Beavers!