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Softball: Bluffton puts it all together in victories over Rose-Hulman

By Levi Hahn, sports information intern

Game 1 stats: http://www.bluffton.edu/sports/softball/2012/04-21-s1.htm
I Game 2 stats

The Bluffton Beaver softball team hosted the Rose-Hulman Fighting Engineers on Saturday April 21, at Bluffton University. Bluffton (20-14 overall) won both games in five innings (both 8-0) against Rose-Hulman (12-24 overall). Bluffton moved into a second place tie with Transylvania in the HCAC at 8-4 following the sweep.

The Beavers went scoreless until the third inning of game when Shelby Erford (Paulding) started things off with a single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Meagan Price (Toledo/Springfield). After a single by the senior Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) and a steal of second base, Emily Manahan (Columbus/B.Watterson) stepped up and hit a two-run single up the middle for Bluffton's first two runs.

In the fourth, Bluffton came back for more as Mackenzie Bedlion (Marshallville/Smithville) started things off with a single and a throwing error by Rose-Hulman allowed her to go to second. Shelby Erford stepped up and hit a bomb over the right field fence to give the Beavers a 4-0 lead. A Megan Price walk and singles by Chelsie Osborne (Chillicothe/Waverly) and Katie Clark (New Palestine, IN) loaded the bases. Price was gunned down on a force play at the plate, but Osborne scored when the Rose catcher went down on the play. Lindsay Robertson (Cincinnati/Northwest) stepped up and drove a two-run double into right center for the 7-0 lead.

The Beavers finished off the Fighting Engineers in the bottom of the 5th inning when Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) walked and stole not only second but third as well. With Wade on third, Shelby Erford laced a single to the wall in right center, handing the Beavers the 8-0 win.

Megan Patton (Waynesfield/Perry) started the first game and got the win. Patton pitched five strong innings of shutout softball while only giving up three hits with two strikeouts. She moved to 7-6 on the year.

Chloe Shell (Covington) pitched the second game for the Beavers. She tossed a complete game, allowing just three hits to the Fighting Engineers. Shell also had two strikeouts and no walks in moving to 9-5 on the season.

The Beavers jumped out early in the bottom of the first inning when Meagan Price walked and Chelsie Osborne doubled down the right field line allowing Price to score and giving Bluffton and early 1-0 lead. Katie Clark stepped up and came through in a big way by hitting a shot that left the field screaming over the left-center field fence, giving Bluffton a 3-0 lead.

Katie Clark opened the third with a triple down the right field line. Emily Manahan followed with a bunt single which scored Clark and made it 4-0. In the fourth inning with one out, Shelby Wade (Delaware/Buckeye Valley) hit a single down the left field line. Wade moved to third on a double by Shelby Erford. Chelsie Osborne singled in both runners, making the score 6-0 in favor of the Beavers.

Emily Manahan singled up the middle to start things for the Beavers in the fifth. Brittany Baker (Springboro) reached on a fielder's choice while Manahan made it to second on the error by Rose-Hulman. Both runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and this would be the story of the inning. On the second wild pitch of the frame, Manahan scored to make it 7-0. Then Baker scored on a third wild pitch of the at bat, ending the second straight game at 8-0 after five innings.

Bluffton received great pitching performances from Shell and Patton. The two freshmen pitchers combined for 10 innings, allowed six hits, fanned four, walked three, and most important of all, allowed no runs.

Bluffton's next games will be at conference-rival Franklin on Sunday, April 22, 2012. The first contest is slated for 1 p.m.