The Buena Vista University softball team used a big scoring inning in each game March 3 to help boost it to a doubleheader sweep over Gustavus Adolphus, by scores of 6-1 and 6-5.
The Beavers include junior shortstop Sam Engleman, a West Sioux alumni.
BVU, based in Storm Lake, plays at defending Great Plains Athletic Conference softball champion Northwestern College March 14 in Orange City in a non-conference doubleheader, at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. They are also at Dordt College in Sioux Center at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. games March 20. BVU will host Nebraska Wesleyan of the GPAC on March 15. BVU has a 3-3 early season record.
“Sam is a hard worker, great attitude, gives full effort every day at practice. She has a great knowledge of the game. She is one of our leaders, a go-to player. Would love to have a team full of players like her,” said BVU Head Softball Coach Heather Hupke.
Engleman is the daughter of Brian and Karen Engleman of Hawarden.
Against the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties, the Beavers took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning of the opener. After the Gusties got one run back in the second, the game was back-and-forth for the next three innings before the Beavers broke things open with a four-run sixth inning. Sam Knudsden (Missouri Valley Iowa) had a two-run single followed later by a two-run double by Mikaela Mllslagle (Lamoni, Iowa).
Freshman Jenna Falline (Newell-Fonda HS alum) worked around a one-one walk in the second inning to retire the side and gained her second pitching win of the season. She allowed just four hits, while striking out three and walking three.
Sophomore Jessica Stocker (Carlisle, Iowa,) tallied a team-high two hits, as BVU finished with only five.
Engleman drove in a run with a RBI and scored two runs.
Stephanie Hayden (Prairie City, Iowa) had the hot bat at the plate for BVU in the second contest, going 3-for-4 for with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. She evened the game at 1-1 in the third inning with an RBI single before adding a two-run single in the fifth inning, giving the Beavers a 3-1 lead. She then got the rally from a 5-4 deficit going in the final frame, coming through with a big two-out double and later scoring on a RBI double by Engleman. Stocker drove in the eventual game winner with an RBI single.
Stocker had two hits in the contest and also drove in two runs as the Beavers outhit the Gusties, 11-6.
Freshman Faith Schmidt (Emmetsburg, Iowa) went the distance on the mound, allowing just one earned run, while striking out two and walking four.
Third baseman Hayden, second baseman junior Brooke Berkey (Colfax-Mingo) and Engleman are among the leaders of the returnees for the Beavers, who were 17-17 record last year. Berkey and Engleman each made 34 starts and Hayden had 33 and had batting averages over 0.300 and Hayden and Engleman led the team as both had 12 walks. Sophomore Stocker rounds out the group of returning infielders. She hit 0.270 batting average with a team-leading eight doubles and 10 sacrifice hits. Defensively she committed just two errors in more than 250 chances at first base.
As a team the defensive side was much improved in 2012 compared to 2011, as BVU had 30 fewer errors than the previous year.
Brittany Kubik (Martensdale, Iowa) and Molly Cox (Redfield), are each junior college transfers and have gained experience. Cox was a First Team All-Region pitcher for Iowa Central Community College with Kubik joining the BVU roster after seeing action on the mound at Des Moines Area Community College.
Freshman Falline joins the Beavers from Newell-Fonda and Schmidt of Emmetsburg add depth to the pitching rotation. Schmidt was a two-time all-state selection at Emmetsburg, while Falline had a standout career for Newell-Fonda.
Sophomore Erin Klieforth (Exira, Iowa) is the Beavers’ catcher.
The Beavers, following a spring trip to Florida, will open their Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) battles on April 6 against Wartburg College at home.
The Beavers were picked to finish in sixth place by the IIAC softball coaches.