HASTINGS, Neb. — The Bethany College softball team stepped out of conference play on Sunday as it headed to Hastings College for an afternoon doubleheader. The Swedes’ defense came through with several key stops as Bethany swept the day, winning 2-1 and 5-2.
"One thing we can take away from today is that we need to work on our bunting," Bethany coach Janice Esses said. "We have to be able to move runners into scoring position in close games. These were good games to wrap up the nononference season, though. We stayed solid defensively against a solid Hastings team. Our pitchers have done a much better job over the last couple weeks. However, we still need to work on limiting our walks. But our defense found a way to get us out of jams."
Game One featured a pitcher's duel as both teams were held scoreless through four innings. The Swedes struck first as Jordan Blakesley slammed a solo home run in the top of the fifth. Courtney Davis reached on an error and scored on a RBI single by Jasmine Zaker giving Bethany a 2-0 lead.
Bethany shut out Hastings in the bottom of the sixth, but the Swedes were unable to score in the top of the seventh. Hastings plated one run in the bottom of the seventh, but Bethany worked out of the jam to hang on.
Montana Bailey threw the complete-game victory for the Swedes, allowing one earned run off six hits, four walks, and two hit by pitches while striking out three.
Hastings got on the board early in the second game, scoring in the bottom of the second to take a 1-0 lead.
However, the Swedes’ sticks responded in the top of the third. Zaker singled, stole second, and scored on a RBI single by Mariana Cerenio-Jordan. Cerenio-Jordan scored on a Kelli Traffas single, and a double by Ashley Nicolich plated Traffas. Nicolich then scored on a passed ball, giving Bethany a 4-1 advantage.
After a scoreless bottom of the fourth and fifth inning, the Broncos scored their second run of the game in the sixth, cutting the Bethany lead to two.
The Swedes again responded, this time in the top of the seventh. Cerenio-Jordan singled and stole second, then scored on a ball off the bat of Blakesley to extend the Bethany lead to 5-2.
Cerenio-Jordan tallied two hits, two runs, one RBI and one stolen base while Traffas had one hit, one run, one RBI, and one stolen base. Zaker tacked on two hits, one run and two stolen bases while Nicolich had two hits, one run and one stolen base. Blakesley recorded one hit and one RBI.
Kierstin Stolle pitched the complete-game win, allowing two earned runs off eight hits, seven walks, and one hit by pitch while striking out four.
The Swedes are currently 22-17 overall and 3-1 in the KCAC. In their last 23 contests, Bethany has posted an 18-5 record. The squad returns to conference play on Wednesday it travels to McPherson College for a 5 p.m. doubleheader.