Bruins claim Senior Day sweep over York

Seniors (L-R) Sydney Robertson, Kelli Fisher, Courtney Schendt, and Kaitlyn Goney were honored between games of Thursday's double-header
Seniors (L-R) Sydney Robertson, Kelli Fisher, Courtney Schendt, and Kaitlyn Goney were honored between games of Thursday's double-header

BELLEVUE, Neb. -- Backed by Erin Sharpe's do-everything evening the No. 25 Bellevue University softball team earned a pair of victories over York College on Thursday evening at the Lied Center. The Bruins picked up a 2-1 eight-inning win in the opener before snagging a 10-2 six-inning triumph in the nightcap to complete the sweep.

With the victories, Bellevue has now won five-straight to improve their overall record to 41-12 while York dips to 10-38 with the losses.

Between games of the double-header Bellevue's four seniors – Kelli Fisher, Kaitlyn Goney, Sydney Robertson, and Courtney Schendt – were honored for their contributions to the program over the past four seasons.

The Bruins wrap up the 2017 regular season this weekend with a four-game series in Forest City, Iowa against Waldorf University. BU and the Warriors will square off with a double-header at 5 p.m. on Friday evening and play a second twin-bill on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m.

Game One: Bellevue 2, York 1 (8 Innings)

Back-to-back RBI-singles from Kaitlyn Kinman and Erin Sharpe saw Bellevue overcome a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the eighth and claim a 2-1 extra-inning victory.

Bellevue remains perfect in extra innings this season, improving their mark to 4-0.

York had little going offensively as it took until the eighth inning to get a runner as far as second base.

Bellevue's best chance to score came in the third inning when they loaded the bases but were unable to push across a run. The Bruins also stranded a runner in scoring position in the fifth inning.

After neither team was able to manage a run in regulation the game headed for extra frames where each side began their half of the inning with a runner on second base.

York took advantage of their opportunity as Molly Reyes began the inning by reaching on a bunt single that allowed Courtney Lovelace to advance to third. After a groundout put runners at second and third Mikayla Lawrence reached on a suicide squeeze that plated Lovelace and saw Reyes thrown out at the plate. BU escaped further harm when Brittany Rayls grounded out to first to end the inning.

Sarah Zeleny began the eighth at second for BU. Sydney Robertson started the Bruin rally by reaching on a fielder's choice on a bunt back to the pitcher. Robertson then stole second to put the winning run just 120 feet away. Kinman then singled on a popup between the first and second basemen to bring in Zeleny. That set the stage for Sharpe to line a single through the right side and plate the game-winning run.

Kelli Fisher (W, 25-4) was again terrific in the circle as she earned the complete game victory. She allowed just an unearned run – via the International Tie-Breaker – while scattering just four hits. She struck out six against just a single walk.

York's Alesia Rodriguez (L, 2-9) was almost equally impressive pitching. She went the distance for the Panthers and limited the Bruins to just two runs – one earned – while allowing six hits and striking out eight.

Game Two: Bellevue 10, York 2 (6 Innings)

Bellevue jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in game two and never looked back as Erin Sharpe delivered the knockout blow with her single-season record-tying 21st home run of the year on a towering fly ball to center field that induced the eight-run rule and gave BU a 10-2 victory.

Sharpe continued her good work at the plate with a two-run single through the left side as the first five Bellevue hitters to come to the plate reached base. Emily Miller followed with a run-scoring single to left ahead of sac flies from both Courtney Schendt and Emily Gigax.

York put up their only runs of the game in the third inning. Mikayla Lawrence tripled in a run before later coming around to score on Brittany Rayls RBI-double.

The momentum didn't stay with the Panthers for long as Bellevue put up four more runs in the home half of the third. Sydney Robertson and Sharpe had RBI-singles and Maddie Siedlik plated two with a double to center field.

Sharpe ended the game in the sixth inning with her solo shot to center. She picked up the win in relief to improve her season record to 8-1 with three shutout innings out of the bullpen. She scattered three hits and a walk while striking out five.

Alyssa Ruiz (L, 1-3) took the loss after being tagged for five first inning runs on five hits and three walks.