PLANT CITY, Fla. – Sophomore third base Riley Langstaff (Findlay, Ohio) and senior catcher Casey Clark (Lima, Ohio) each doubled and knocked in multiple runs to lead the Bluffton University softball team over Simmons University, 10-2, this afternoon at the Randy Larson Complex in Plant City, Fla. as part of the Sunkissed Games. The Beavers improve to 2-3 on the season, while the Sharks fall to 1-4.
The game was halted after six innings due to the eight-run mercy rule and Bluffton scored in all but one inning of play.
Nine different batters registered at least one hit, including four with multiple hits for the Beavers.
First year third base Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) and sophomores Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) and Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) all collected a pair of hits, while Vann also scored a run and Santoro drove in a run. Senior righty Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (1-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks in two-plus innings of work for Simmons.
Sophomore third base Riley Langstaff (Findlay, Ohio) and senior catcher Casey Clark (Lima, Ohio) each doubled and knocked in multiple runs to lead Bluffton. Langstaff was 2-4 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Clark was 2-3 with three RBI. Junior shortstop Caylin Morstadt (Delaware, Ohio) reached safely four times on the day with three singles and was hit by a pitch and scored a game-high three times, while sophomore designated player Brianna Baker (Defiance, Ohio) was 1-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored. Junior first base Megan Hill (Arcadia, Ohio) finished the day going 2-4 with a run scored and knocked in a run. Sophomore right-hander Katie McCord (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) scattered eight hits and allowed two runs, while striking out one and issuing a free pass to earn the win and improve to 2-1.
The teams traded single runs in the first. Vann and Santoro rapped out back-to-back singles to begin the contest, before junior center fielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) plated Vann with a ground out to put the Sharks on the board. Senior second base Kelsey Reeder (Galion, Ohio) drew a lead-off walk for the Beavers in the bottom of the first and later came around to score on a Hill ground out to knot the score at 1-1.
Bluffton scored in each of the next two innings to take a 4-1 lead. Reeder figured in the scoring again in the second with an RBI double and Baker contributed with a double of her own in the third to drive in two more runs to give the Beavers a three-run margin.
Simmons cut the deficit in half in the fifth when sophomore second base Hailey Lowell (Pelham, N.H.) smacked a leadoff single through the left side and later scored on a single through the left side off the bat of Santoro to make it 4-2. The Sharks were able to load the bases, but McCord induced a 4-6-3 double play for Bluffton to escape without further damage.
Morstadt and Hill led off the bottom of the fifth with singles, before the Simmons pitching staff was able to get a pair of infield pop-ups. The Sharks were unable to get out of the frame, however, before Clark singled home the Beavers' fifth run for a 5-2 lead.
Bluffton scored five runs in the sixth to end the game due to the eight-run mercy rule. Langstaff and Clark highlighted the frame with each belting a two-run double, respectively, including Clark's to give the Beavers the winning margin.
The Sharks return to action when they take on Aurora University at 1:15 p.m., while Bluffton plays Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at the same time.