Friday's MAC Softball Results

Updated 2/23/2013


Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
E. Kentucky  10, Miami (Ohio)  2
Boston College  6, Miami (Ohio)  5  
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Miami University softball team suffered a pair of tough defeats Friday to open the Frost Classic. The RedHawks dropped a 10-2 decision to Eastern Kentucky in five innings in the morning. Miami then fell to Boston College, 6-5, in the afternoon after the Eagles hit two home runs in the bottom of the seventh to come from behind and win. The 'Hawks are now 1-6 on the season.
Miami struck first in the opener against Eastern Kentucky (4-2). In the top of the second inning, Allie Larrabee led off and was hit by a pitch. Jenna Modic sacrificed her over to second base. A groundout then moved her to third. Hailey Reed drew a walk to put runners at the corners. She took off to steal second base, and the catcher's throw sailed into the outfield. That allowed Larrabee to come home and give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.
The Colonels tied the score with a home run in the bottom of the second. The bottom of the third would prove to be the difference as Miami committed two errors, while EKU pounded out six hits as it plated six in the frame to take a 7-1 advantage.
The RedHawks got a run back in the top of the fifth when Reed hit her first career home run. The Colonels answered with three more runs in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to eight and create a run-rule victory.
Reed finished the game 1-for-1 with one RBI, one run scored and a walk. Kayla Ledbetter and Taylor Shuey also recorded hits for the 'Hawks.
Miami plated two runs in the top of the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead over Boston College (1-1) in the nightcap. Larrabee led off with a single up the middle. Shanyn McIntyre moved her up to third with a double to right center. Reed drew a walk to load the bases. Kristy Arbour then drew a walk of her own to force home Larrabee. After a fielder's choice groundout retired McIntyre at home, a sacrifice fly by Kylie McChesney would score Reed.
The RedHawks made it 3-1 in the top of the third when Larrabee scored on a wild pitch. In the top of the fifth the Boston College left fielder misplayed a fly ball hit by Reed. That allowed both McIntyre and Shuey to come home and give Miami a 5-1 lead.
Paige Myers had come into the game in relief of Megan Mattera in the bottom of the third inning. She got the 'Hawks out of a bases loaded one out jam, and kept the Eagles off the board until a double in the bottom of the fifth brought home two runs to make it 5-3.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh inning. After the leadoff hitter walked, Ledbetter threw her out trying to steal second. Myers then force a shallow pop out before a solo home run by Tory Speer made it a one-run game. The next hitter drew a walk, and Alana DiMaso completed the Eagle comeback with two-run home run over the centerfield wall.
McIntyre finished the nightcap 2-for-2 with two walks and one run scored. Larrabee was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
Miami will look to get back on the winning track with two more games Saturday at the Frost Classic. The 'Hawks will take on Tennessee Tech at 11 a.m. and follow that with a 1:15 p.m. game against host Chattanooga.
Northern Kentucky  6, Toledo  2 
Toledo  9, N.C. Central  1
CHATTANOOGA, TN - The Toledo softball team kicked off the 2013 campaign with a doubleheader split on Friday at the Frost Classic hosted by UT-Chattanooga. UT fell in the opener to Northern Kentucky 6-2, but bounced back with a 9-1 mercy-rule victory (5 inn.) over North Carolina Central in the second game. The Rockets (1-1) are scheduled to play another doubleheader on Saturday versus Missouri State and Eastern Kentucky in back-to-back games starting at 11:00 a.m.
In her Toledo debut, freshman Marla Gooding led the Rockets going 4-for-6 at the plate, while driving in four runs on the day. Gooding also pitched in both games and recorded her first-collegiate win by retiring 15-of-19 NCCU batters. She pitched four-and-a-third innings of relief in the opener and struck out a combined seven hitters during both games.
Sophomore Leigh Nebendahl went a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI as the designated hitter in game two, while senior outfielder Lindsey Tobias went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three runs knocked in.  
Junior Lani Ernst also recorded a multi-hit performance with a single and a double as the Rockets pounded out 13 hits in the later contest, including seven that went for extra bases.
The Norse got to UT starter Alli Beery with three runs in the top of the second, two of which came off a two-out double by Kaylin Steinmetz. UT responded with two runs in the bottom half with an RBI single by Gooding and a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Alyssa Smith that scored senior Morgan Smith who reached earlier on a fielder's choice.
However, the Norse would never relinquish the lead after adding another run in the third off Beery (2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K), and two more in the final frame.  Tobias knocked a double for her only hit of the game as the Rockets mustered just six hits and left five runners on.
NKU pitcher Kelley Benhase went the distance and struck out six Rockets to clinch the program's first win at the Division I level.
In the second game, the Midnight Blue & Gold jumped on top with five runs in the first to establish the momentum over the Eagles. With one out, senior Courtney McCarthy singled to center and advanced to second base on a wild pitch by NCCU pitcher Biank Molina. Tobias then crushed her first long ball of the season to left field and Nebendahl followed with a double to center.
The next batter Morgan Smith drew a walk and then freshman Jen Behunin laced a triple to right field, plating both runners on her first-career hit in her first at-bat in a Toledo uniform. Gooding was next up and roped another double to center to score Nebendahl, which forced Molina to exit the game after allowing five runs on six hits.
The Eagles scored their only run in the second on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Joy Simpson.
Gooding knocked in two more runs on her second double of the game in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-1, while Tobias and Nebendahl each plated a run in the fifth to make it 9-1.
Two NCCU runners reached base with no outs in the fifth, but Gooding buckled down and closed the door for the win.
UT left 10 runners on base and committed one error. NCCU stranded four runners and fell victim to three errors.
The Rockets will play back-to-back games versus Missouri State and Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at the Frost Classic. First pitch against the Bears is slated for 11:00 a.m. ET, with the EKU game slated for approximately 1:15 p.m.
All of the tournament information, including live stats and box scores, can be found by clicking on the attached link.
Ohio  11, N.C. Central  0
Ohio  14, Niagara  5
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Ohio University Softball Team (9-2) continued its terrific start to the 2013 season on Friday afternoon, winning two games at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Frost Classic. Ohio dispatched North Carolina Central (11-0 in five innings) in its first action of the day before taking down Niagara (14-5 in six innings) to conclude the afternoon.
Ohio's 9-2 start remains its best beginning to a campaign since the 1994 season. The Bobcats began the 1994 season winning 11 of their first 13 games.
Ohio hit .370 as a team on Friday, scoring 25 runs (22 of which were earned), belting 20 hits, three of which were doubles and five were home runs. Five Bobcats slugged at a rate of 1.000 or higher, and the team as a whole compiled a slugging percentage of .741 through 54 at bats.
Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) led the offensive charge, accumulating three hits--two of which were home runs--and driving in a team-high five runs. She was not the only `Cat to record multiple hits on the day, as Adrienne Gebele (3), Sloan Walker (3), Caitlin Colvin (3), and Amanda Dalton (2) all recorded at least two hits.
Lauren McClary and Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio) recorded victories inside the pitching circle on Friday. McClary threw five innings and allowed zero runs and just two hits, striking out six in the process. Clarke came on in relief during Ohio's second game of the day, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing just one run while striking out four batters.
Ohio 11, North Carolina Central 0 (Five Innings) 
Ohio was hot right from the start in its tournament opener, an 11-0 drubbing of North Carolina Central. The Bobcats leapt out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, scoring their first run of the day when Lauren Gellerman grounded out to shortstop, bringing Lex Cortez (Beaufort, S.C.) around to score from third. With two runners aboard, Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) then drove in two more runs, hitting a double to put the `Cats ahead 3-0.
Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.) used some alert base running to score Ohio's fourth run in the second inning, coming around to touch the plate after a passed ball. Gellerman stepped up to the plate and blasted her first home run of the afternoon, bringing around two runs to score. With the bases loaded, Raven King (Alpine, Utah) drove in one run by taking a walk, which was immediately followed by Bailey and Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) getting hit by pitches, bringing around two more runs to score.
Sloan Walker (Cypress, Texas) began the third inning by collecting her fourth hit of the season. She was then brought around to score when Gellerman hit her second round-tripper of the game, putting the `Cats ahead by an 11-0 margin.
Sophomore pitcher Lauren McClary (Pasadena, Texas) was excellent in the win, picking up a complete-game, two-hit shutout. McClary struck out six batters and didn't walk a single one in the game.
Ohio 14, Niagara 5 (Six Innings) 
Ohio took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on an Alexandria Basquez (Elk Grove, Calif.) double but quickly fell into a 3-1 deficit when the Purple Eagles scored three times in the top of the third inning.
Niagara would stretch its lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning, but the Bobcats answered back in the bottom of the frame to wrench the lead away for good. With one out in the frame, Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a triple to right field, driving in King, who had walked earlier in the inning. Walker then drove in two runs on a bunt single before Gebele drove in the final run of the inning on a single to center field.
The Purple Eagles cut the deficit by one run in the top of the fifth inning, but this is as close as they would come in the end. Ohio poured on five more runs in the fifth inning--three of which came from Colvin's team-leading seventh home run of the season--before adding three more in the bottom of the sixth to earn the walk-off victory. All three of the `Cats' sixth-inning runs came on one swing of the bat by Wolfe, who hit her first career home run to add an exclamation point to the victory.
The Bobcats will continue play at the Frost Classic on Saturday against Lipscomb (11 a.m.) and Boston College (1:15 p.m.).
Western Michigan  7, Dayton  6
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Western Michigan softball picked up the first win of the 2013 Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic with a dramatic 7-6 win over Dayton to keep the Flyers winless on the season.
The key to WMU's victory was an offensive onslaught in the fourth inning, and it was thanks in large part to the Bronco freshmen in the line up.  Marleen Rodriguez and Melissa Palmer continued their hot hitting, leading off the fourth inning with a single and a double, respectively.  Palmers' two-bagger was one of four doubles, all hit by freshmen, against the Flyers.  That set the stage for Sabrina Gamboa who drove a base hit up the middle to clear the bases and double WMU's lead from 2-0 to 4-0.
Mackenzie Shepeck drew a walk to keep things going and two batters later Caity Pixley, who was 3-for-3 at the plate, drove in one of her two runs with a single to right field.  Loren Nagy followed with an almost identical single to left field to plate another run, and Allyson Kus, earning the start in the circle and picking up her first career win, helped out her own cause with an RBI double to left center.
Freshmen accounted for six of Western Michigan's seven RBIs against Dayton and went 9-for-18 (.500) at the plate.
Diana Patterson made her season debut in fine fashion, registering her team best 35th career RBI in her first at bat to put the Broncos on the board in the bottom of the first.
The Broncos built a 7-0 lead through four innings and had a chance to end the game early but stranded eight base runners throughout the first five innings.
Dayton mounted its come back in the top of the sixth as a pair of batters scored on a passed ball and wild pitch, respectively.  In fact, only two Flyers that ultimately scored reached base due to a hit, the rest were due to walks on being hit by pitches.
In the top of the seventh, Kus was chased after two batters, giving up a lead off walk and a two-run home run.  It would be the only hit of the inning but two more base runners would cross home plate.  Becca Shemberger came into the circle in relief and, with the bases loaded, walked in a run on two occasions.  However, with the bases loaded and WMU clinging to a one-run lead, Shemberger shut down the Flyers, fanning the batter on four pitches to earn her first career save.
WMU continues in the Hilltopper Classic but not until Saturday as poor weather Thursday night will allow for each team to play only one game on Friday.  Check back to and go to the schedule page for an updated schedule.  Also follow @WMUSoftball on Twitter for up to the minute updates on the schedule.
Creighton  7, Ball State  1
Ball State  20, Grambling  3
CONWAY, Ark. - - The Ball State softball team split its opening two games at the UCA Tournament hosted by Central Arkansas Friday, suffering a 7-1 loss to Creighton before rallying to top Grambling 20-3 at Farris Field.
With the split, Ball State moved its record to 4-2 on the young year.
Junior outfielder Jennifer Gilbert continued to dominate opposing pitchers by going 5-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and three intentional walks Friday. With her two homers, Gilbert raised her career total to 38 which is tied with Amanda Montalto (2009-12) for first in program history.
For the season, Gilbert is batting .778 (14-for-18) with five home runs and two doubles. She has scored 12 runs and has 12 RBI, while also drawing six walks for an .833 on base percentage.
Overall, the Cardinals posted a .361 batting average on the day, with junior third baseman Audrey Bickel adding her second career grand slam in the seventh inning versus Grambling to push across Ball State's final four runs of the game. Freshman Selena Reyna posted a 3-for-5 mark on the day, tallying her first career triple and driving in four RBI.
Also highlighting the final inning of the day for the Cardinals were the first career hits for freshman Sammi Cowger and Sasha Margulies.
Despite suffering the loss in the circle in versus Creighton, freshman hurler Nicole Steinbach turned in another solid performance, striking out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just two earned runs among the seven scored.
Fellow freshman pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker nailed down the victory over by striking out five batters and allowing just one earned run over her 6.0 innings of work. Redshirt junior Lauren Williamson would pitch the final inning versus the Tigers, striking out two of the five batters she faced.
The Ball State softball team continues play in the 2013 UCA Softball Tournament Saturday, with games versus Northern Iowa (9 a.m. CT) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3 p.m. CT).
After three scoreless innings, the Jays were able to capitalize with two outs in the top of the fourth to push across the game's first three runs. With two outs, both strikeouts by Steinbach, back-to-back singles put runners at first and second for the Jays.
Ball State looked to get out of the inning unharmed on a grounder by the next batter, but a throwing error to first led to the first run and kept the inning alive for a two-run double for Blair Lowe.
Trailing 3-0, the Cardinals posted their lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, when Gilbert blasted a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall.
Unfortunately, Creighton's Becca Changstrong would shut the Ball State offense down the rest of the game, as she allowed just two hits and an intentional walk to Gilbert after the blast. The Jays would score four runs in the seventh to make the final margin of victory 7-1.
In 6.2 innings of work for the Cardinals, Steinbach would strikeout 10 Creighton batters while allowing just seven hits. Of the Jay's seven runs in the game, only two were earned.
In their second game of the day, the Cardinals struck first in the top of the first thanks to a two-out error by the Tigers which allowed sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann to score after being hit by a pitch in her first at bat.
Grambling would even the score in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single from Hilary Velsquez.
After a scoreless second inning, the Cardinals struck for one run over each of the next three innings to pull ahead 4-1 entering the fifth. Gilbert would lead off the third inning with her 38th career home run, while sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox scored thanks to a Stuedemann RBI single in the fourth. BSU's run in the fifth game on a RBI single from Reyna.
After freshman pitcher Schifferdecker shut down Grambling in the fifth inning, the Cardinals bats came to life as BSU tallied 16 runs over the final two innings, including a three-run triple from Reyna in the sixth and Bickel's second career grand slam in the seventh.
Grambling's final two runs came in the bottom of the sixth, as they brought the score within 9-3 before Ball State's 11-run seventh inning.
In all, the Cardinals tallied 20 runs on 19 hits in the contest, while drawing seven walks.
Schifferdecker would pick up her second career win in the circle, scattering five hits over 6.0 innings of work while striking out five batters. Of the three runs Grambling scored off Schifferdecker, only one was earned.
Buffalo  3, Kent State  2 (Courtesy of Kent Sports Information)
Louisville  5, Kent State  0
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kent State softball was unable to return to its winning ways, dropping two games at the Cardinal Classic Friday afternoon at Louisville's Ulmer Stadium.  The Golden Flashes dropped an eight-inning game to fellow Mid-American Conference member Buffalo to open the day before falling to No. 18 Louisville, 5-0.
"Offensively, we need to start doing a better job of getting our bats on the ball," said head coach Karen Linder, whose squad managed just two runs on eight hits on the day.
The first game was déjà vu for the Golden Flashes, who had runners cross the plate in the first inning for the fourth time in five games on the young season. Like their previous two games at Auburn, however, the Flashes watched their lead slip away before losing in the final innings.
Sophomore Dani Ramos (South Euclid, Ohio) got it going with a one-out single, which was followed by a single up the middle off the bat of junior Abbey Ledford (West Liberty, Ohio). A throwing error by the centerfielder allowed both players to advance. Ledford made her way all the way to third base but Ramos was thrown out at home plate trying to score. A wild pitch to the next batter allowed Ledford to scamper across home plate.
Junior Lauren McNeil (Akron, Ohio) cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits, before Buffalo got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Bulls recorded three hits and took advantage of a leadoff walk and a wild pitch for their first lead of the game.
The Flashes responded with a run of their own to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning.  Freshman Lauren Kesterson (Everett, Wash.) singled to start the inning. Following a foul out, Ramos singled for her second hit of the game. After another foul out, freshman Shelbi Tilton (Massillon, Ohio) drew a walk to load the bases for fellow freshman Erika Warren (North Canton, Ohio), who drew a walk to bring Kesterson around for the tying run.
"After they took the lead, Lauren (Kesterson) was able to get on base to leadoff the top of the sixth," Linder said. "Getting a runner on base in that situation was huge, and we were able to draw a couple of walks to move her around and score."
Kent State threatened in both the seventh and eighth innings. The Flashes had a pair of runners in scoring position in both innings but were unable to advance them any further.  In all, the Flashes stranded seven runners over their final tree times at-bat.
After walking Buffalo's first batter in the sixth inning, McNeil retired six straight heading into the eighth. Both teams had a runner placed on second base to begin the extra inning, and the Bulls were able to take advantage. Their first batter of the inning was Alexis Curtiss, whose single to right field drove in the winning run.
The Flashes outhit the Bulls, 7-6, but were unable to come up with some of the timely hitting that aided them in the first two games of the season.
McNeil (1-2) went the distance for the Flashes, allowing six hits. Only two of the three runs she allowed were earned. She also had five strikeouts.
"Lauren McNeil gave us a really good performance on the mound," Linder said. "Today was probably one of her best outings. She battled the entire game and kept us in it even though we weren't able to produce runs."
Tori Speckman (1-1) earned the win for Buffalo. She inherited a pair of base runners upon entering in the top of the eighth, but retired all three batters she faced to get out of the jam.
In the second game, Louisville pitcher Caralisa Connell silenced the Flashes as the Cardinals shutout their opponent for the fourth time in the past five games.
Sophomore Kim Kirkpatrick (Olmsted Falls, Ohio) opened the game with a double. However, the Flashes did not get another hit the rest of the way, managing only a pair of walks. 
"Against Louisville, we put a very inexperienced lineup on the field," Linder said. "We hope to develop some consistency in the lineup as the season goes on and we are still trying o find a lineup that is going to be productive for us and able to manufacture runs."
Sophomore Emma Johnson (Groveport, Ohio) got the start for Kent State, going five innings. Johnson (1-2) allowed all five Cardinal run and did not record any strikeouts. Freshman Alyssa Frankenfield (Pittsburgh, Pa.) entered in the sixth inning for her collegiate debut. Frankenfield allowed the first three batters she faced to reach safely before retiring the next three batters to get out of the bases loaded jam.
Connell (5-1) struck out eight batters to just two walks and faced just two more than the minimum of 21 batters for the shutout.
Louisville scored two runs in the second inning and added three in the fifth. Whitney Arion had a pair of hits for the Cardinals while Katelyn Mann drove in a pair of runs.
"I think that playing and then being off a week forced us to try to find our rhythm again at the plate," Linder said. "We didn't do a good job of making adjustments at the plate as the day went on and will need to be able to do that going forward."
Kent State takes the field again tomorrow at 3 p.m. to play Eastern Illinois.  The Flashes will conclude the weekend with Host Louisville again on Sunday at 12;30 p.m.
Northern Illinois  4, North Fla.  2
Providence  13, Northern Illinois  7
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Northern Illinois University softball team opened play in the FAU "Strike-Out Cancer" Tournament by splitting its doubleheader Friday.
The Huskies (4-3) knocked off North Florida, 4-2, in extra innings to open the tournament, before falling to Providence, 13-7, in Game Two.
Northern Illinois pounded out six hits and took advantage of four North Florida errors. The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Erika Oswald (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) reached on an error to lead off the inning. She promptly stole second and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Delani Vest (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) drove in Oswald from third when reached on an error by the Osprey's first baseman.
After North Florida tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning, NIU responded in the top of the fourth with an RBI single from designated player Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) to retake the lead, 2-1. A bases loaded walk to Danica Mandarano tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth.
A scoreless seventh inning by both teams drove the game into extra innings. Patience at the plate and another Osprey error helped the Huskies plate a pair and take a two-run lead. Vest, who was placed on second to start the inning, scored on an RBI single by Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins).
Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) reached on a fielder's choice and Gremillion was safe at second on an error by the pitcher to keep the inning alive. Barnett walked to load the bases and Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) earned a free pass to force in the insurance run.
Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) improved to 2-1, allowing two runs, while scattering nine hits.
"Jessica threw another great game," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "Amanda [Sheppard] made some amazing defensive plays to really keep us in the game and we had some clutch hitting when it counted."
Northern Illinois wasn't as fortunate in the second game. Providence jumped out to a 7-0 lead with five runs in the top of the first and a pair in the third. The Huskies responded with a run in the third and a five-run fourth of their own to pull within a run, 7-6.
With NIU trailing, 8-7, heading into the top of the seventh, the Fryers sealed the game with five more runs to take a 13-7 lead.
The Huskies continue play in the FAU "Strike-Out Cancer" Tournament Saturday. NIU faces Towson at 8 a.m. and Connecticut at 12 p.m. All times Central. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at