By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
PLANT CITY, Fla. - Bluffton got steamrolled in the first game of the day as Hood needed just five innings to carve out a 10-1 victory. However, the Beavers bounced back in game two, notching their first win of the 2019 season against Heidelberg with a 5-3 victory. Bluffton is now 1-3 heading into their day off.
Hood didn't hesitate to display its dominance as the Trailblazers were able to put up a touchdown plus the extra point in the top of the first, rolling to a 7-0 lead after the first half of inning one. They rapped out five hits in the inning while Bluffton had an error to compound the issues.
In the top of the second inning Hood added a couple more runs, stretching their lead to 9-0 thanks to a two-run homer. Two frames later, Hood added one more run for a double-digit lead (10-0).
The Beavers were able to score a run in the bottom of the fifth when Sydney Bowen (Convoy/Crestview) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, picking up pinch runner Casey Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) from third base. That ended the scoring and one out later the final was in the books as Hood finished off a 10-1 mercy-rule victory.
Baker paced the Beavers as she went 2-for-2 at the dish. Freshman Molly Bollinger (Lima/Shawnee) replaced Annie McCrate (Westerville/South) in the first inning and finished the game, tossing 4.1 innings. She gave up four runs. McCrate started the game and gave up six runs on four hits while taking the loss. Bollinger and Megan Hill (Arcadia) added one hit apiece for the Beavers.
Hood tallied 12 hits to Bluffton's four. Both teams committed one error in the ball game.
Heidelberg struck first in game two as they put up one run in the bottom of the first.
Bluffton responded in the top of the second as the Beavers put up three hits in the inning. Riley Langstaff (Findlay) knotted the score at 1-1 when her groundout plated Caylin Morstadt (Delaware) who led off the frame with a base hit down the left field line.
Heidelberg regained the lead in the bottom of the third inning as they put one run on the board, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Student Princes. Bluffton dodged a bullet though as Heidelberg left two on base when the inning ended.
Bluffton was able to keep Heidelberg scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings while the Student Princes left two on base in the fourth and in the fifth the bases were loaded when the inning ended.
In the top of the sixth, Morstadt hit a solo shot to straightaway center, evening the score at 2-2!
The top of the seventh was even better as Bluffton finally broke out for a big inning. With two outs and the score still knotted 2-2, the Beavers were able to do some damage. Courtney Jasinski (Englewood) singled up the middle, picking up sophomore Taylor Steinke (Findlay) who led off the final frame with a two-bagger down the left field line. After going up 3-2, the Beavers weren't satisfied. Morstadt hit another bomb to left center following a Jasinski single, giving the Beavers a comfortable 5-2 lead going into the final half inning.
Heidelberg made it interesting, but the Beavers held on for a 5-3 victory when Katie McCord (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) snared a line drive to cap off her victory.
McCord pitched all seven innings, facing 37 batters and giving up just three runs in her first win. Morstadt had a break out game, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI and two home runs. Baker went 3-of-4, while Steineke was 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Heidelberg finished with two more hits (13-11), but left 11 on base as that was the story of the game as Bluffton got outs when they needed them most.
The Beavers will be back in action on Wednesday, March 6, when they take on Simmons at 11 a.m. before a rematch with Saint Joseph's (Me.) at 1:15 p.m. Go Beavers!