CLERMONT, Fla. – The Bethany College softball team wrapped up its trip to Florida Thursday by splitting a pair of games, falling to #8 Messiah 4-0 and besting Mount Ida (Mass.) College 8-0 in five innings. The split decisions gave the Bison a 7-3 record to open the year.
In the opening game of the day against Messiah, who is ranked eighth in this week’s NCFA Top 25 poll, the Falcons scored first. A one-out double was followed by a single and a sacrifice fly by Sara Dietrich to put Messiah ahead 1-0 after one inning.
A Bethany error allowed Messiah to score three times in the fourth inning. With two outs and Falcons on first and second, a throwing error by BC allowed both base runners and the batter to score, as the Bison fell behind by a 4-0 count.
With the bats, BC could not figure out Messiah hurler Jessica Rhoads. Sophomore Liz Kletzli (Carnegie, Pa./Chartiers Valley) singled in the second inning and senior Chelsea Butler (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) walked in the third for the only base runners Bethany managed against Rhoads. She came out after the sixth and Bison senior Andrea Thomas (Toronto, Ohio) hit a single in the seventh, but Bethany was unable to score and dropped the 4-0 decision.
Sophomore Emily Jump (Milford, Del./Polytech) took the loss in the circle to fall to 3-2. She went the distance and allowed four runs on five hits while striking out four and walking four.
The second game of the day saw Bethany’s bats erupt for eight runs in the early stages, which was more than enough for senior pitcher Cortney Newland (Carmichaels, Pa.). She raised her record to 4-0 for the year by blanking the Mustangs on two hits and the Bison offensive output stopped the game after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Bethany will now return north and resume its schedule Wednesday (March 23) with a road doubleheader at Marietta.