April 20, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University softball squad finally hit its home turf after weather has wreaked havoc on the spring season. With the sun shining, the Beavers faced off against the Mount St. Joseph Lions in a HCAC double-header on Friday, April 20. Bluffton was outmatched as a 13-1 loss in game one and a 11-4 setback in the second game dropped the Beavers to 7-20 overall and 2-8 in the HCAC.
Mount St. Joseph jumped out quickly with a four-run first to take a 4-0 lead. After two scoreless frames, JOSIE MCELROY (Mt. Orab/Western Brown) smacked her 30th career dinger, a solo shot to right, to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Lions would add three more runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-1 advantage over Bluffton. The visitors tacked on six runs in the seventh to seal a 13-1 victory in the lidlifter.
Senior CHELSEA ZOLTOWSKI (Sylvania/Southview) was the lone Bluffton player to record multiple hits in the outing, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Notching the only RBI for the Beavers was Josie McElroy with her homer in the fourth while MAKENZIE SCHMIDT (Caledonia/River Valley), COURTNEY JASINSKI(Englewood/Northmont) and KELSEY REEDER (Galion/Northmor) would each tally a hit in the contest.
Taking the loss for the home team was NICOLE THOMAS (Tontogany/Otsego) who allowed 10 earned runs off 13 Lions hits while dropping to 5-8 on the year. The senior hurler fanned one batter while walking a pair.
After a short break, the teams would get right back into action. Trailing 2-0 after the top of the first, Josie McElroy ripped a solo laser to center in the bottom of the inning to cut the gap to 2-1. It tied McElroy with Lindsey Miller for the single-season mark with her 11th bomb this season!
An RBI double by the Lions in the top of the second put the visitors back up two. Two more runs in the inning made it a 5-1 ballgame. Six unanswered tallies, with four in the third and two in the fifth, allowed the visitors to take an 11-1 lead.
Bluffton would not give in as Josie McElroy singled up the middle to bring home a run before a base knock by CAYLIN MORSTADT (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) scored another to make it 11-3. JESSIE MADZIA (Massillon/Tuslaw) continued the scoring outburst with an RBI groundout of her own to cut the deficit to seven. The Beavers were unable to get any closer, however, as they fell to Mount St. Joseph by an 11-4 final.
The two teams were even at nine hits apiece in spite of the lopsided 11-4 score. Josie McElroy led the way for Bluffton, going 2-for-4 while accounting for two runs and two RBI. Also collecting multiple hits in the contest was BRITTANY HUFF (Clayton/Northmont).
Taking the mound for the Beavers was Jessie Madzia who dipped to 1-10 on the season with the defeat. The senior pitcher surrendered seven earned runs off five hits in her 2.2 innings of work. Madzia struck out two batters while walking seven seven in game two. Nicole Thomas recorded a pair of strikeouts in her 4.1 innings of two-run relief
Next up for Bluffton is a home DH on Sunday, April 22, against Hanover College. The Beavers will look to end this four-game losing streak when they take on the Panthers, starting at 1 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers!