HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University softball team capped off its fourth Heartland Conference doubleheader of the week and the 2019 season with a trip to Hanover College on Sunday, April 28. Hanover took the first game 8-6 and wrapped up the sweep with a 3-2 victory in the finale.
Hanover stunned the Beavers with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally all the way back from a 6-3 fourth-inning deficit. The Panthers scored twice in the home half of the fourth to make it a one-run game before three tallies in the sixth made the final score 8-6.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after one inning, but Bluffton fired right back with three scores in the top of the second. A bases-loaded walk to Molly Bollinger (Lima/Shawnee) pushed Sydney Bowen (Convoy/Crestview) across the dish and senior Kelsey Reeder (Galion/Northmor) followed with a two-run single down the left field line.
Bluffton took its first lead of the day in the third when Bowen followed Megan Hill's (Arcadia) two-bagger with an RBI single to right center. Reeder tripled home Bollinger an inning later and Courtney Jasinski (Englewood/Northmont) stepped to the plate and delivered with a sacrifice fly to center, making the score 6-3 in favor of the Beavers.
Reeder went 2-of-4 with three RBI and Bowen also chipped in with two hits. Sophomore Katie McCord (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) fell to 3-11 on the season after allowing eight runs, six earned, on 13 hits in 5.1 innings of work. She fanned five Panthers in game one.
The first three batters for Hanover crossed the dish courtesy of a Shelby Edington homer to left and Allison Wiseman made those three runs stand up as the Panthers ended the season with a 3-2 victory in game two.
Caylin Morstadt (Delaware/Rutherford B. Hayes) crossed the dish in the fourth when Hill reached on an error and again in the seventh thanks to Hill's eighth double of the year, but Wiseman finished it off a strikeout, a flyout and a groundout as Hanover held on for a 3-2 victory.
Junior Alexis Montemarano (Brook Park/Berea-Midpark) was nearly perfect in her 5.2 innings of relief, facing just 18 batters while recording 17 outs! Sophomore Annie McCrate (Westerville/South) slipped to 0-4 on the season after surrendering three runs on three hits in just one-third of an inning.
Morstadt finished with two of Bluffton's four hits and scored both Beaver runs.
The 2019 Bluffton softball season is now complete. The Heartland Conference post-season hardware is slated to be released on Wednesday, May 8, so watch for those announcements as well as the updated record books next week. A special thank you to seniors Kelsey Reeder and Casey Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) as well as their parents for all their efforts at Bluffton over the past four years!