Bruins split on day three at NTC Spring Games

Ashley Gigax was 3-6 on the day and launched her second HR of the season
Ashley Gigax was 3-6 on the day and launched her second HR of the season

CLERMONT, Fla. - The Bellevue University softball team defeated Concordia College (N.Y.) and lost to Grace College (Ind.) on Thursday evening at the NTC Spring Games. Bellevue clipped Concordia, 5-1, in the opener before falling to Grace, 4-3, in the nightcap.

The Bruins are now 5-7 on the year and had taken four straight prior to the loss to Grace.

Game One: Bellevue 5, Concordia 1

Bellevue struck first in the opening inning. Sydney Robertson (1-3, 2B, run) laced a one-out double down the third base line and advanced to third on a wild pitch before being chased home by Ashley Gigax's (1-3, RBI, run) single to left.

The Bruins provided some cushion with four insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Sayde Woten (1-1, RBI) knocked in Ashley Gigax with a sac fly to double the BU advantage to 2-0. A single by Emily Gigax (1-3, RBI, run) scored Alex Tooley (1-4, run) before Kendall Hendrix (1-3, RBI, 2B) doubled to center to plate Emily Gigax (1-3, RBI, run). A single to left by Shelby Kindelin (2-4, RBI) scored Kristine Kimberley (1-3, run) with the final Bellevue run of the afternoon.

Concordia scratched a run across in the bottom of the sixth. Each of the first two batters of the inning reached before Hannah Rubasky reached on an error to chase Cassidy Gorgo to second and score Alexandra Mandarano.

Senior Taylor Mohler got the start in the circle for the Bruins going the distance and allowing one (unearned) run on three hits while striking out nine to improve her record to 2-4 on the season.

Game Two: Grace 4, Bellevue 3

Facing a two-run deficit in the top of the seventh, Bellevue scored a run to cut the Grace lead in half and put two runners in scoring position with one out. Ashley Gigax (2-3, RBI, 2 runs, HR, BB) singled to center with one out and advanced to second when Alex Tooley (1-4) reached via error. Sayde Woten (1-4, RBI, 2B) banged a double to center to plate Gigax but Sarah Zeleny, pinch-running for Tooley, had to hold at third. Grace settled down and was able to retire Courtney Schendt (0-3, BB) and Emily Gigax (1-3, run, BB) to preserve the Lancer victory.

In the second game of the day for the Bruins, Grace jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third inning. Samantha Johnson led off the inning with a triple to left and scored on a wild pitch to put the Bruins in a hole.

Ashley Gigax answered loudly in the bottom half of the inning with her second home run of the season, a solo shot to left field.

The two sides traded zeroes over the next two innings before Grace hung a crooked number in the top of the sixth. The Lancers struck three times courtesy of an RBI-double by Chandler Elliott that plated Clarissa Knight and a two-run scoring error that saw Ashley Kleinbub and Elliot come in.

The Bruins responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on first and third, Shelby Kindelin (0-4, RBI) reached on a fielder's choice that saw Kaitlyn Goney (1-1) retired at second but allowed Emily Gigax to come in to score.

Sophomore Kelli Fisher went the distance in the circle for Bellevue surrendering four runs (just two earned) on six hits while striking out three. She is now 3-2 on the season.

The Bruins will return to the diamond tomorrow when they complete their spring trip with a double-header. Bellevue takes on the University of Michigan-Dearborn at 4:00 p.m. before wrapping up their stay with a 6:00 p.m. tilt against St. Xavier University.