Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communication Departments
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team completed the sweep of Ohio with a 3-2 victory over the Bobcats at Mary M. Bell Field Sunday.
Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) turned in a stellar pitching performance for Northern Illinois (20-28, 10-8), allowing one run on one hit, a solo home run in the first inning, and striking out three in five innings of work. Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) picked up the save, allowing one run on one hit in two innings of work.
"Jessica came in and did a good job settling in," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "I just wanted Emily to give them a fresh look towards the end there because we were going through the line up for the third time. I wanted to give them something different to keep their power hitters off balance. I'm glad it worked out."
Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncali) went 2-for-2 with an RBI. The senior first baseman went 8-for-10, including a double and home run, with five RBIs and a run scored in four games this weekend.
"JB continues to be steady," Sutcliffe said of Barnett's play this weekend. "She's going out with a bang in her senior year. She prides herself in her offense and I'm glad to see her doing well down the stretch."
Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) and Sturm each went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Bobcats (24-25, 7-11) took the early lead with a solo home run in the top of the first. NIU responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame by Gremillion. Northern Illinois took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the third.
With runners at the corners with two outs, Barnett singled to right field to drive in Ashley Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) from third. Sturm helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, to score pinch runner Kristyn Barrett (Monticello, Ill./Monticello) from third to make the score 3-1. It would prove to be a big insurance run as the Bobcats scored a run in the top of the sixth.
NIU returns to action Wednesday when the Huskies travel to Chicago to take on DePaul. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Broncos suffered a series sweeps at the hand of Akron, falling to the Zips, 4-2, in Sunday's finale at Fran Ebert Field.
WMU fell behind early as Akron hit two home runs in the top of the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Shawna Hocstetler is the first opposing batter to hit a home run to lead off a game against Western Michigan this season. Rachel Ratcliffe belted her second home run of the series later in the inning.
WMU answered with a run in the home half of the first. Jenny Rohn collected a one-out base hit and two batters later Loren Nagy registered her fifth RBI of the weekend with a double to left field.
Both teams would each score one more run, both unearned. Akron's came on a throwing error at second base and WMU's came with two errors at shortstop on the same play.
Western Michigan brought its 9-1-2 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh but a pair of ground outs and a strikeout ended the attempt at a rally.
WMU will host seven games over the next six days, welcoming Valparaiso on Tuesday for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. WMU then welcomes Notre Dame on May 1 as a make up for the original March 27 date. Game time is 4 p.m. The Broncos close out the regular season with a twinbill against Bowling Green on Friday (1/3 p.m.) and two games against Toledo on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).
Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Central Michigan Softball dropped its final home game of the season 2-0 to Miami. The Chippewas split the series, winning yesterday's game, 4-2.
Seniors Brogan Darwin and Summer Knoop led Central Michigan with one hit each. Junior Chelsea Sundberg pitched her ninth complete game of the season, stiking out five batters and giving up just three hits and two unearned runs.
Miami's Hailey Reed and Jena Modic finished the game 1-2 at the plate with an RBI each. Taylor Shuey had the ReHawks’ third hit of the game. Modic pitched a complete game in the circle, giving up two hits and no runs.
Miami jumped on top in the first inning, starting the game with a lead off single by Shuey to left field. An error playing a pop up bunt to Sundberg put two runners on with no outs. A sac-bunt moved the runners into scoring position, bringing Modic to the plate. Modic hit a high pop up to left field that left Shuey enough time to tag up and score from third, putting the RedHawks up 1-0.
Darwin accounted for the Chippewas’ first hit of the game in the second inning, knocking a single to center field. Sophomore Trista Cox laid down a sac-bunt to move Brogan into scoring position for freshman Katelyn Rentschler. Back-to-back groundouts from Rentschler and Horan ended the inning, stranding Darwin on second.
Another Central Michigan error put the lead off hitter on base for Miami in the third. After consecutive strikeouts by Sundberg, Reed hit a double off the wall in left field to score Kristy Arbour from first.
Down 2-0 and trying to spark a rally, Knoop led off the sixth with a single to center field. Senior Macy Merchant was able to advance her to second on a bunt, but couldn’t beat the throw out to first. Two more groundouts stranded another Chippewa base runner, concluding Central Michigan’s scoring chances.
The Chippewas will travel to Akron and Ohio for the season’s final two series before the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Central Michigan’s first game will be on Friday, May 3, against the Zips at 1 p.m.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University softball team defeated the University of Toledo Sunday afternoon, shutting out the Rockets by a score of 1-0 on Senior Day at Meserve Field. The win improves the Falcons’ overall record to 25-19, with a record of 8-10 in the Mid-American Conference. The loss pushes Toledo’s overall record to 15-31, including a record of 7-11 in conference play.
Senior Paige Berger led the Falcons with two hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman Braiden Dillow secured the third Falcon hit, going 1-for-1 with a single in a pinch hitting situation. Sophomore Paris Imholz (16-6) picked up the complete game victory, allowing just four hits and striking out two in the shut out.
Similar to Saturday’s contest, both pitchers were fabulous in the beginning part of the game, taking a scoreless draw all the way into the bottom of the sixth.
Dillow started the frame with a single to left field before being relieved by fellow freshman Jessica Gregg as a pinch runner. Senior Hannah Fulk then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Gregg over to second on the play. In the next at bat, Berger belted a single to right field, allowing Gregg to score the Falcons’ only run of the ballgame.
Imholz continued to cruise through the final half inning, securing three groundouts in the top of the seventh to lock down the 1-0 win for Bowling Green.
The 1-0 win marks the final home game of the season for the Falcons, as Bowling Green will finish with seven victories at Meserve Field in 2013.
The Falcons are back on the field on Friday, May 3 in a doubleheader at Western Michigan. The first pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m.