Chapman helps softball salvage a split

Chapman helps softball salvage a split

BLUFFTON, Ohio -- The No. 14 Heidelberg University softball team opened play up north with a split at Bluffton University on Wednesday. Bluffton won a wild 10-8 affair in the opener, and Heidelberg took the nightcap, 3-2, in a six-inning game halted by darkness.

With the split, Heidelberg moves to 10-2 on the season. Bluffton remains even at 9-9.

STANDOUT STATS

GAME ONE: Bluffton 10, Heidelberg 8

The Student Princes started strong with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Bailey Smith singled and stole second. After moving to third on a groundout, Smith scored on a fly ball by Mikaela Mitsch. With the bases empty, Zachrich singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. She came around to score on a single by Daniels.

The Beavers tied the contest quickly on a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first. The hosts would go ahead in the bottom of the second as they pounded out four hits and scored three runs.

Down 5-2, Smego doubled with one out in the third. Mitsch followed up with a home run to left, her third of the season. With two outs, Daniels singled through the hole on the left side and moved to second on a walk by McKee. Taylor Hicks pulled a single through the right side, allowing Daniels to score.

Daniels, who relieved Paige Atterholt in the second, gave up four unearned runs in the home half of the third. Jessie Madzia did a majority of the damage with a two-out, three-run homer down the line in left.

Heidelberg got one back in the top of the fourth. Randi Kelsey led off with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by Renee Lovett.

As they had all game, Bluffton immediately responded by way of a two-out solo homer to left by Chelsea Zoltowski.

McKee belted a two-run homer to center in the fifth, cutting the Beaver lead down to 10-8. The Student Princes had the tying run at the plate in the seventh, but were unable to score.

The loss went to Daniels (1-1), who went 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on seven hits. Atterholt went 1.1 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on six hits.

GAME TWO: Heidelberg 3, Bluffton 2 (6 innings - darkness)

After the offenses fired at will in the first game, it wasn't until the third before either team scored in the second game. Mitsch singled and scored on a double by McKee, giving HU a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, a fielding error helped the Beavers plate a run off of Chapman.

Tied at 1 in the fifth, Smith singled but was thrown out trying to score from first on a double to right center by Smego. With two outs, Riley Brown pinch ran for Smego. The move proved wise as Brown beat the throw home on a single by Zachrich, putting HU up, 2-1. The next three batters -- McKee, pinch hitters Joanna Catalano and Daniels -- all drew walks. Daniels' free pass forced in Zachrich for the third Berg run.

In what proved to be the final inning, the Beavers scored a run on a throwing error to cut the deficit in half. With the tying run at second, Chapman sealed the win by inducing a popup to short.

Chapman (4-1) picked up her 20th career win and 24th career complete game.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

Zachrich and Smego each have 28 career doubles, sixth-most in school history. Mitsch holds the career lead with 38 two-baggers.

Heidelberg and Bluffton also had a game called due to darkness in 2015. The Student Princes won that contest by the same score of 3-2.

QUOTES FROM THE COACH

Head coach Betsy Hada on the defense in the split: "I thought our defense wasn't where it needs to be ... Bluffton is a dangerous team and giving them extra outs led to a lot of unearned runs."

Hada on the offense: "I feel like we had some players seeing the ball very well today ... Our offense thrives on extra-base hits, and that was evident against Bluffton."

Hada on Chapman: "Erin has been excellent all year long. She has pitched well in a lot of tight ballgames this season which is a credit to her toughness and her focus.

UP NEXT

Heidelberg hosts Wilmington College (6-6) on Friday to open up Ohio Athletic Conference play. The twinbill is slated for a 1 p.m. start. If Thursday's forecasted rain showers force Friday's games to be postponed, they would be made up on Saturday.