BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University tallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in the second game of a non-conference doubleheader to sweep the Heidelberg University softball team today at the Emery Sears Athletic Complex in Bluffton, Ohio. The Berg lost the game by counts of 3-2 and 5-4.
In the first game, Heidelberg (9-6) wasted little time in taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back singles by sophomore second baseman Erica Huffman (Strongsville) and sophomore center fielder Jami Wagner (Alvada/New Riegel) and a sacrifice bunt by sophomore third baseman Kelly Martz (Roseville, Mich./Lakeview) put two runners in scoring position for senior right handed pitcher Lexie Pinkelman (Metamora/Evergreen). Pinkelman drove both runners in with a single.
Bluffton (12-10) cut the ‘Berg lead in half in the bottom of the first with a run batted-in single by Katie Clark and the Beavers tallied two more runs in the second to take what would prove to be the 3-2 final.
Heidelberg threatened in the sixth, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Bluffton starting pitcher Chloe Shell worked out of the inning and retired the side in the seventh to earn the win.
Wagner went 2-for-3 with a run scored at the plate.
Pinkelman allowed just one earned run on four hits while striking out four and walking two in 6.0 innings, but suffered the loss to fall to 3-2.
Price led the Beavers at the plate in the first game, going 1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored. Shell went the distance on the mound, allowing six hits and striking out four.
In the second game, Pinkelman doubled in a run in the top of the first to give the Berg a 1-0 lead and Bluffton tied the game with a single tally in the second.
The Berg loaded the bases in the third, but could not capitalize.
The Beavers took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by Mackenzie Bedlion and threatened again in the fourth, putting a pair of runners in scoring position before Heidelberg worked out of the jam.
A two-run home run by senior catcher Megan Reinhart (Tiffin/Fostoria Hopewell-Loudon) in the top of the sixth inning lifted the Berg to a 3-2 lead, but Bluffton tied the game again in the bottom half of the inning.
Junior left hander Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview) retired the side in the seventh to force extra innings.
In the eighth, a two-out single and a stolen base by Wagner brought Martz to the plate, who singled in Wagner for the go-ahead run, but the Berg mustered just one run in the extra frame.
The Beavers wrapped out three singles in the bottom of the eighth and Chelsie Osborne drove in the winning run for the sweep.
Pinkelman was 3-for-4 with a RBI in the second game as the designated hitter. Wagner was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Sayre allowed five runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 7.2 innings pitched, while striking out three and walking three, but fell to 3-3.
The Beavers were led at the dish by Price, who was 3-for-4 with a RBI.
Megan Patton started on the mound and worked 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out four and walking four. Shell relieved Price and allowed one run on four hits in 2.1 innings. Kayla Owens worked just one-third of an inning and earned the win.
The Berg continues its 10-game road trip tomorrow when it opens Ohio Athletic Conference play against Capital University at Clowson Field in Bexley, Ohio.