AKRON, Ohio. -- The Bowling Green State University softball team lost to Central Michigan Wednesday night, falling to the Chippewas 2-1 in the Falcons' first game of the MAC Tournament.
Junior Hannah Fulk led Bowling Green in hits, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Junior Paige Berger scored the only run of the contest for the Falcons, going 1-for-4 with a double. Freshman Jamie Kertes was credited with the loss, giving up four hits and an earned run in 5.0 innings of work. Freshman Paris Imholz pitched the final two innings in relief, allowing just one hit and recording a strikeout.
Bowling Green and Central Michigan remained relatively quiet offensively until the fourth inning, when both teams put a single run on the board to break the offensive drought. The Chippewas scored their run in the fourth on a two out rally, crossing home plate one time on two hits in the frame.
The Falcons opened the bottom of the fourth with a double from Paige Berger, before a walk and a single in the following at bats loaded the bases. Freshman Shelby Fink came to the plate, and grounded out to the pitcher, moving all the base runners in the process. Berger charged home, and was able to score on a fielding error by the Central Michigan pitcher in the play at the plate.
The Chippewas were able to score the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth on a squeeze play at the plate, needing only one hit to record the game winner. Chippewa first baseman Molly Coldren singled to start the inning, before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. A second squeeze bunt was all Central Michigan needed to take the lead, bringing Coldren home to put the score at 2-1.
The Falcons were unable to score again, giving Central Michigan the victory.
“We didn’t necessarily have the quality at-bats we wanted,” said head coach Shannon Salsburg. “The great thing about this tournament is that it is double elimination and that we get to come back tomorrow and keep fighting. Like I told the team, we are far from done. We will go pitch-by-pitch like we have all season and we will see how far we can go. I believe we can play on Saturday.”
Bowling Green (35-21) will now play Toledo Thursday in the loser's bracket, with a second chance to move forward in the double elimination MAC Tournament. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.