CLERMONT, Fla. -- Highlighted by three home runs from Erin Sharpe, the Bellevue University softball team extended its winning streak to eight games following three victories Thursday at the National Training Center Spring Games.
Bellevue defeated Cardinal Stritch, 3-2, Spring Arbor, 5-4 in nine innings, and Cornerstone, 7-0, to improve to 16-7 on the season.
Sharpe finished the day 7-for-11 at the plate with three home runs, a double and seven RBIs. She also picked up the win in the circle over Cornerstone.
Sharpe now has 10 home runs on the season and becomes the fastest Bruin to reach that mark in school history at just 22 games.
The Bruins will conclude action at the NTC Spring Games on Friday, March 10 with a 7 a.m. contest against Cardinal Stritch and a 9:30 a.m. battle with Concordia (Mich.).
Bellevue 3, Cardinal Stritch 2
Sharpe led the BU offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a home run and Kaitlyn Kinman drove in the winning run in the top of the fifth as BU recorded a 3-2 win over Cardinal Stritch in the opening game of the day.
The Bruins grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run homer by Sharpe. CSU countered with their own two-run homer off of Lauren Stoch to tie the contest in the bottom of the fourth inning.
An RBI single to left field by Kinman helped BU regain the lead at 3-2 in the top of the fifth. The Wolves managed just one base-runner and no hits the remainder of the contest as BU collected the 3-2 win.
Lexi LeCalsey (4-2) picked up her fourth win of the season, allowing seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Kelli Fisher retired the final four batters to earn her first save of the season.
Bellevue 5, Spring Arbor 4 (9 innings)
The Bruins survived a late SAU rally to pull out a dramatic 5-4 victory in nine innings in BU's second contest of the day.
After Sydney Taylor led off the game with a triple to right field, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead as Taylor scored off a fielding error by Kinman.
Bellevue took the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an infield RBI single by Robertson that scored Alex Tooley.
An RBI single to right field by Emily Gigax increased the BU lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
A sacrifice fly to left field by Kyla Semomes clipped the Bruin advantage to 3-2 in the top of the seventh. With the tying run at third base and two outs, Fisher's wild pitch allowed Hope Longenbarger to tie the contest at 3-3, sending the game into extra innings.
Using the international tiebreaker rule, the Cougars took their second lead of the day in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to left field by Kelsey Brown, giving SAU a 4-3 edge.
The Bruins responded in the bottom half of the eighth, tying the game at 4-4 on Robertson's RBI single to left field, scoring Sarah Zeleny from third.
Bellevue won the contest when Robertson scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth frame, giving BU the 5-4 victory.
Robertson finished the game 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the BU offense.
Fisher (9-3) picked up her ninth victory of the season, scattering five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in nine innings in the circle.
Bellevue 7, Cornerstone 0
Sharpe went 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs, while also picking the win in the circle as the Bruins finished the day with a 7-0 shutout victory over Cornerstone. The win marked BU's second shutout victory of the season.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third when Sharpe blasted her second two-run homer of the day to give BU a 2-0 lead. The Bruins increased the lead to 3-0 later in the inning on Michaela Miller's fielder's choice RBI that scored Courtney Schendt from third.
Sharpe's three-run bomb in the top of the fourth extended the BU margin to 6-0. A bases-loaded walked to Gigax pushed the lead to 7-0 in the top of the sixth.
Sharpe (3-0) earned her third victory of the season, allowing just two hits and a walk in six innings of work.