April 15 – NEW CONCORD, Ohio – The Bethany College softball team dropped a pair of non-conference decisions on Wednesday afternoon, falling twice to Muskingum University. The Bison ran into stout pitching in game one, dropping a 7-0 decision, before falling 6-5 in eight innings in the night cap.
The Fighting Muskies did the most damage between the third and fourth innings as Muskingum touched up Bison pitcher Kelsey Bish (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) for six of the seven runs in the game.
Senior Kadie Kelly (Royal Oak, Md./St. Michaels) entered the contest to pitch in the fifth inning and worked two scoreless innings while allowing just two hits. It marked her first appearance in the circle this season for the Green & White.
Offensively in game one, the Bison tallied just three hits, two of which came from Deanna Mihalco (Patterson, N.Y./Brewster). The junior first baseman extended her hitting streak to four games and notched her seventh multi-hit game of the season. The other hit came from designated player Sarah Coss (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) who tallied a single in the seventh.
In game two, the Bison showed grit, erasing a four-run deficit late in the game before ultimately dropping a 6-5 decision in extra innings.
Game two started out as a pitchers’ duel as Bethany’s Kiersten Conwell (Washington, Pa./Chartiers Houston) and Muskingum’s Kristen Gill combined to allow six hits through the first 3.5 innings but allowed no runs to score to keep the game deadlocked at 0-0 going into the bottom of the fourth.
Muskingum struck first in the game, posting three runs in the home half of the fourth inning. The Muskies totaled four hits in the inning, including two doubles and a two-run homer by Amy Clark which extended the lead to 3-0.
Muskingum would add another run in the bottom of the six on a RBI double from Clark, to push the advantage to 4-0. It was there, however, that the Bison would come through.
The Green & White showed patience at plate, as the first three batters loaded the bases without a hit. Coss led the inning off with a walk and courtesy runner Gabby Goudy (Powhatan Point, Ohio/River) was moved to second after T.J. Solomon (Beltsville, Md./Elizabeth Seton) was hit by a pitch. Kylee Clark (Heath, Ohio/Lakewood) then earned a walk to load the bases before Kadie Kelly came through with the only hit of the inning. Kelly roped a double to left-center field, scoring both Goudy and Solomon to cut the lead to 4-2.
The next batter in the inning was Jessica Kusnierz (New Castle, Pa./Shenango) who reached base and moved to second on a throwing error by the Muskies’ short stop. During the play, two more runs scored for the Green & White, tying the game at 4-4. Kusnierz would then be moved to third on a groundout by Ashlee Brill (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), before she made her way home on a throwing error by the Muskingum catcher. Her run gave Bethany a 5-4 advantage, putting the Bison in line for their third series split in their last four doubleheaders.
The Bison would return the favor in the bottom of the seventh inning, as a Bethany error allowed the Muskies to plate the tying run and send the game into extra innings. After the Bison went quietly in the top of the eighth, Muskingum posted the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly from Kelly Martin in the home half of the inning, handing the Bison the 6-5 loss.
In the contest, the Bison once again had a hard time getting anything going on offense. The Green & White totaled five hits, three of which came from Coss. The sophomore went 3-for-3 at the plate in the contest, improving her batting average to .356 on the year. Kadie Kelly tallied a hit and two RBI while Mihalco added a single.
The Bison will be back in action as they return home to the Bethany Softball Diamond for a non-conference doubleheader with Capital University. The matchup with the Crusaders is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start.