CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bellevue University softball team dropped a pair of one-run, extra-inning contests Friday to conclude play at the PFX Spring Games.
The Bruins fell 4-3 in eight innings to Spring Arbor in the opener. BU dropped a heartbreaker in nine innings, 2-1, to sixth-ranked Marian University in the nightcap.
The two losses dropped the Bruins to 12-10 on the season.
The Bruins will return to action when they travel to York, Neb. on Monday, March 18 to take on York College in a 4 p.m. non-conference doubleheader.
Spring Arbor 4, Bellevue 3 (8 innings)
Spring Arbor scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the 4-3 win in the opener. Ellie Bliemeister went 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI to pace the BU offense.
The Bruins struck first in the top of the opening inning when Bliemeister scored from third off a passed ball from SAU catcher Brookelyn Stafford, giving BU an early 1-0 lead. Bliemeister's RBI triple to right field increased the advantage to 2-0 in the top of the second.
Consecutive RBI doubles to left field by Hope Longenbarger and Sydney Taylor tied the contest at 2-2 in the bottom of the third frame.
The Cougars threatened in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded and one out, but BU starter Erin Sharpe got out of the jam, with a force out at home and a pop up to Ashley Young at third base, forcing extra innings.
BU took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning when Brieanna Brock scored off a fielding error from SAU third baseman Jade Nowe.
SAU loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning before a two-run double by Taylor gave the Cougars the dramatic 4-3 walk-off victory.
Sharpe (1-3) took the loss, giving up 11 hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings of work. Lauren Wirgau (5-0) earned the win, scattering six hits and five walks with seven strikeouts in eight innings in the circle.
No. 6 Marian 2, Bellevue 1 (9 innings)
In a real pitcher's duel, MU scored in the top of the ninth and held on for the 2-1 victory in BU's second contest of the day.
Monique Ashley got the Bruins out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth by fanning back-to-back Knights to keep the game scoreless. Once again, Ashley survived a bases-loaded scenario if the fifth frame by recording a strikeout to end the threat.
Maricela Egan's single to center field broke up All-American Breena Smith's no-hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Smith retired three-straight Bruins to keep the score at 0-0.
After a hit batsman and a walk put BU runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, Smith induced a flyout to deep center field by Kayla Young to force extra innings.
The Crusaders plated the game's first run following a throwing error by Sharpe, allowing Issy Hoyt to score, putting MU up, 1-0, in the top of the eighth.
The Bruins answered in the bottom of the eighth, scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field by Grace Glotfelty to knot the contest at 1-1.
An RBI single to center field by Olivia Hoffman gave the Knights a 2-1 advantage in the top of the ninth and Shelby Herron, who replaced Smith, retired three-straight batters in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the MU victory.
Ashley (5-5) allowed just three hits and no earned runs in the loss while striking out eight and walking four in nine innings of work.
Smith (1-0) earned the win, scattering two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in eight innings. Herron was credited with the save.