BELLEVUE, Neb. -- The Bellevue University softball team, on the strength of 26 hits, swept a Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference double-header from York College on Senior Night. The Bruins used an 8-run fourth inning to score an 11-1 victory in the opener before scoring in all five innings to claim an 8-0 victory in the nightcap to sweep the twin bill.
Bellevue improves to 32-9-1 overall and 15-1 in MCAC play with the sweep while York dips to 7-28 (5-11 MCAC) on the year.
Between games Bellevue honored their three seniors - Ashley Gigax, Shelby Kindelin, and Taylor Mohler - as part of the Senior Day festivities. The Bruins are back at it tomorrow with a 3:00 p.m. double-header in Forest City, Iowa against Waldorf College.
Game One: Bellevue 11, York 1 (5 Innings)
Bellevue hit three home runs in an 8-run fourth inning to take an 11-1 lead and pull away from what had been a pitcher's duel with York.
The Bruins staked starter Kelli Fisher to a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, utilizing some small ball. Shelby Kindelin led off with a single up the middle and stole second before advancing to third on a ground out by Ashley Gigax. Alex Tooley reached on an infield single and Kindelin came home on an errant throw.
York wasted no time getting back in the game. Brittany Rayls and Corrine Pearl reached on consecutive infield singles before moving into scoring position on a sac bunt. Fisher looked primed to escape the threat after striking out Morgan Derengowski but Laykin McCoy singled through the right side to chase home Brittany Rayls.
The game remained tied into the bottom of the third where Kindelin sparked another BU rally. She drew a walk leading off the inning, stole second, and served as a distraction allowing Ashley Gigax to reach on a fielder's choice before Tooley singled to load the bases. Sayde Woten drew a walk to plate Kindelin and Courtney Schendt hit a sac fly to left to chase home Gigax for a 3-1 Bellevue lead.
Kindelin provided the Bruins some breathing room with a one-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, the first of three long balls in the inning. Gigax went back-to-back with Kindelin, driving the first pitch she saw over the center field fence to spark a pitching change. Emily Gigax hit a two-run double in the inning and Michala Miller followed that up with a three-run home run to cap the scoring for the inning.
Fisher (14-3) was touched for just one run on five hits while striking out six in the ballgame.
Game Two: Bellevue 8, York 0 (5 Innings)
Taylor Mohler (17-5) struck out seven and fired a three-hit shutout as Bellevue blanked York, 8-0, in the nightcap. The Bruins struck for at least one run in each of the game's five innings as the offense stayed hot, recording 13 hits for the second straight game.
Ashley Gigax scored the opening run after a single to left in the bottom of the first. She took second on a wild pitch and came in to score on the first of two doubles by Alex Tooley.
Shelby Kindelin and Tooley each had RBI-singles an inning later and Ashley Gigax drove in a run after reaching on a fielding error to put Bellevue up 4-0.
Bellevue struck for two more runs in the bottom of the third. The first run came on Michala Miller's second home run on the evening, a solo shot to right. With runners at first and second the Bruins attempted a successful double steal and a throwing error by the catcher allowed Kaitlyn Goney to come home on the play.
Courtney Schendt knocked in a run on a sac fly in the fourth and Ashley Gigax singled home Goney with the game-ending run with one out in the fifth.