BELLEVUE, Neb. – Timely hitting and a pitching performance that allowed just six hits propelled the Bellevue University softball team to a sweep on day one of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference North Division Crossover on Friday evening at Hall of Fame Fields. The Bruins eclipsed Central Christian College 4-1 in the opener before going on to edge Central Baptist College 3-0 in the nightcap.
Bellevue, winners of nine straight, improves to 24-8-1 on the season and more importantly 9-0 in league play.
Bellevue plays three games tomorrow. They'll wrap up the MCAC North Division Crossover with games against Oklahoma Wesleyan University (11:00 a.m.) and Haskell Indian Nations University (1:00 p.m.) before completing Tuesday's suspended game against Waldorf College (3:00 p.m.).
Game One: Bellevue 4, Central Christian 1
Bellevue made the most of their six hits using some timely hitting to and a solid pitching effort to secure a 4-1 victory over Central Christian in the first game of the MCAC North Division Crossover.
The Bruins scored one run in each of the game's first two innings. Alex Tooley staked the Bruins to a 1-0 lead when she singled home Ashley Gigax who doubled with one away in the first and Shelby Kindelin provided a sac fly to chase home Kaitlyn Goney in the second to make it 2-0 in favor of the home-standing Bruins.
Gigax extended the Bruin lead to 3-0 with a home run leading off the bottom of the fifth. The long ball to deep left was the 12th of the season for Gigax and moves her into a tie for 13th in the Bellevue record book for home runs in a season. The home run was also the 21st of her two-year career, moving her into a tie for seventh all-time in program history.
Starting pitcher Kelli Fisher gave the Tigers nothing but crumbs to work with. After allowing a two-out single in the first inning, Fisher set down 14 straight batters before issuing a one-out walk to Brooklynn Lemons in the sixth. Lemons later came around to score on an RBI-single by Ashly Westgarth.
Fisher (12-2) allowed just three hits and struck out 10 on the afternoon while picking up her 12th victory of the season.
Game Two: Bellevue 3, Central Baptist 0
Bellevue complete a season sweep of Central Baptist with a 3-0 victory after building an early lead and riding the strong right arm of Taylor Mohler to the shutout.
Central Baptist threatened in the opening half inning. Lauren Sweeten led off with a double and moved to third on a sac bunt by Tiffani Pledger with just one out. The key to the inning came as Bellevue starter Taylor Mohler was able to strike out Miranda Manchester and Joella Bayles to strand Sweeten, stealing momentum for the Bruins.
Building on that stolen momentum Sayde Woten put BU on the board first, crushing a 3-2 pitch into the left center gap for an RBI double. Ashley Gigax got things started in the opening inning, doubling on the first pitch she saw off the left center field fence. The next batter up, Alex Tooley, walked to bring Woten to the plate. Courtney Schendt followed Woten by ripping a run-scoring single through the left side and taking second on the throw home.
CBC threatened again in the fourth. With one out Manchester hit a towering fly ball to deep left center that bounced off the yellow safety cap on the fence back into the field of play for a double. However, Bayles and Jordon Jones struck out to alleviate the threat.
The Bruins started off the bottom of the fourth looking to add to their lead. Schendt reached on a dropped throw and Michaela Miller reached on an infield single with nobody out. Bellevue was unable to advance the runners when back-to-back hitters popped up on sac bunt attempts. Kendall Hendrix popped up with two outs to end the BU threat.
Tooley spotted the Bruins some insurance with a solo home run down the left field line with two out in the bottom of the fifth. The big fly was her second of the year.
Sweeten started a one-out rally in the sixth with her second double of the game for the Mustangs. Mohler would once again buckle down and retire Pledger on a swinging strike three before working around Manchester, who walked following a quality at-bat. Bayles was then retired on a pop up when she ran over Tooley who was comfortably camped under the ball.
Mohler (12-5) worked a complete game, allowing just four hits and striking out eight, to pick up the win.
Day One Scores
4:00 p.m. Games
Oklahoma Wesleyan 5, Waldorf 2
Central Baptist 3, York 2
Bellevue 4, Central Christian 1
CSM 7, Haskell 0
6:00 p.m. Games
Waldorf 12, Haskell 3
Central Christian 3, York 1
Bellevue 3, Central Baptist 0
Oklahoma Wesleyan 2, CSM 0