March 20 – CLERMONT, Fla. – The Bethany College softball program finished their spring break trip to Clermont, Fla. by splitting a pair of games on Thursday morning. The Bison dropped a 15-2 decision to Springfield College in game one, before defeating McDaniel College, 9-0 in five innings, in game two.
In game one, Springfield College got on the board first, scoring three runs on two hits in the top of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Bethany would respond in the home half of the third inning, striking for two runs in the frame. Kadie Kelly (Royal Oak, Md./St. Michaels) led off the inning with a double to center field and was moved to third on a bunt by Ashlee Brill (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster). After Jessica Kusnierz (New Castle, Pa./Shenango) reached first on a hit by pitch to load the bases, Kayla Kelly (Pasadena, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) and Kaitlin Tropf (Mayfield Heights, Ohio/Mayfield) each drove in a run to pull the Bison within a run (3-2).
Springfield would control the rest of the contest, picking up runs in the fifth and sixth before scoring 10 runs in the seventh inning to hand Bethany the 15-2 defeat.
In game two, the Bison bats came alive, striking for nine runs in a 9-0 victory over McDaniel College.
Bethany opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, plating two runs on two hits. After Ashlee Needy (Chicago, Ill./Marist) reached base with a free pass, Kayla Kelly doubled to left-center field to put runners at second and third with just one out. Sarah Coss (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) then cleared the bases with a two-run single to stake the Bison to a 2-0 lead.
The Green & White would tack on another run in the top of the second on a RBI double by Kusnierz, before blowing the game open with three runs in the top of the third inning.
In the top of the third, Kayla Kelly started the inning with a single, and was moved to second on a bunt single by Emili Garretson (Winfield, W. Va./Winfield). A double steal then had runners on second and third, and Kelsey Bish (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) brought in Kelly to extend the lead to 4-0. After Bish stole second to once again put two runners in scoring position, Deanna Mihalco (Patterson, N.Y./Brewster) brought both runners in with a two-run single to balloon the advantage to 6-0.
The Bison would tack on three more runs in the top of the fifth inning, including a RBI by Brill and a two-run single by Needy to put the mercy rule into effect with the Green & White up 9-0.
Bish would then work a perfect fifth inning to end the game and preserve the win for the Bison, earning her first victory of the season.
Offensively for Bethany, Needy, Coss and Mihalco all notched two RBI in the game. Mihalco had a solid all-around performance at the plate, going three-for-three with two runs scored. Other multi-hit performers included Coss, Kayla Kelly and Kadie Kelly.
Bish had her strongest outing of the young season, as she notched the win, going five solid innings, allowing just two hits and four total base runners while striking out two on the day.
Having finished their spring break festivities, the Bison will return to Bethany to prepare for their first home contest of the season. The Green & White will open their home season on Wednesday, March 26, when they host Marietta College. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.