Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communication Departments
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University softball team rallied to win its sixth straight posting a 5-4 victory over Bowling Green at Mary M. Bell Field Sunday on Senior Day.
“I’m kind of glad today was a tight game to put a little pressure on us to show we can play under it,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “The coaching staff knew we clinched the No. seed during the game, but I wanted them to play under pressure. From here on out, it’s going to be that way.”
With the scored tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded and two outs, senior Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) singled down the left field line to drive in Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) from third to give NIU (24-29, 14-8) a 5-4 lead.
“It’s pretty cool both seniors ended up being the reason we won that game,” Sutcliffe said. “It’s a cool moment for them. This whole weekend, for them to finish their career the way they did is very special for them.”
Kristyn Barrett (Monticello, Ill./Monticello) was caught in a run down on the play to end the inning, however, the one run lead was all pitcher Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) would need as the sophomore hurler retired the side to give the Huskies the victory and complete the weekend sweep. NIU has won 13 of its last 14 MAC contests.
After Bowling Green (26-22, 9-13) took a 1-0 lead with a run in the first, the Huskies came back to score three runs in the bottom of the third. With runners at first and second with two outs, Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) singled up the middle to score Phelan from second to tie the game. Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) then drove in a pair on a single to centerfield to give NIU a 3-1 lead.
A two-run home run by Paige Berger and an RBI single by Chloe Giordano gave the Falcons a 4-3 advantage in the top of the fifth. The Huskies responded with a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double by Miller to tie the game, 4-4 heading into the sixth inning.
Miller led the way for Northern Illinois at the plate going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Barnett finished her final game at home with a 2-for-4 performance and driving in the game-winning run. Phelan went 3-for-4 with two runs scored from the leadoff spot, while Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
The Huskies enter the 2013 MAC Softball Tournament in Akron, Ohio as the No. 4 seed and will play the winner of the No. 5 Miami-No. 8 Toledo game Wednesday, May 8. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan softball used a three-run fifth inning in its 4-2 win over Toledo to close out the 2013 season on a high note. Megan Stamm made history in the process.
The decisive inning began with a little bit of history for one Bronco. Stamm belted her second double of the game to left field with one out, making her the 38th player in program history to have two in one game. She led off the third inning with only her second double of the season.
Stamm accounted for three of WMU's seven hits against Toledo in the season finale, as she also had a base hit off the glove of Rocket pitcher Marla Gooding in the home half of the sixth. This was Stamm's first career three-hit game as well as first career multi-hit game.
Melissa Palmer followed with a two-out walk two batters later. With Emma Bogart pinch running for Stamm, Christina Pigozzi stepped to the plate. Toledo helped out the cause with two errors on the same play as Pigozzi reached on a fielding error at third base and then the throw to first was wide, allowing Bogart to score the go-ahead run. Jenny Rohn wasted little time adding on as she took the first pitch she saw to center field for a two-RBI base hit.
It would be enough as Toledo stranded five runners over the next two innings, advancing runners into scoring position in both frames but coming up short. The Rockets scratched one run across in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to left field and had the go-ahear run on base but Allyson Kus shut the door for her second save of the season.
Becca Shemberger came into the game in the fifth and allowed just the earned run in the seventh en route to the victory. Mackenzie Shepeck earned the start but had the no decision with Toledo tying the score in the fifth.
The Broncos recognized their three seniors, Elisha Handshoe, Colleen Lynch and Diana Patterson, prior to today's season finale. All three earned the start in today's game.
Western Michigan finished one win out of participating in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament next week in Akron, Ohio. Toledo earned the last spot by way of the second level tie breaker with Akron. The last time WMU missed the tournament was 2010. The Broncos returned the following season, 2011, to win it.
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University softball team (26-27, 9-13 Mid-American Conference) fell to a hard hitting Central Michigan squad in its final regular-season action of the 2013 season on Sunday, losing by a final score of 13-5 in five innings.
Prior to the game, Ohio honored the careers of seniors Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.), Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.), Biz Eyrise (Brookville, Wis.), Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.), Jenna Giusti (Danville, Calif.), and Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio). Following Sunday’s contest, these six Bobcats have played in a combined 705 games for the Green and White.
Brittany Horan of Central Michigan (29-18, 15-7 MAC) had a terrific day offensively, going 4-4 from the plate with four RBI and three runs scored. Gellerman held Ohio’s hottest bat of the afternoon, as she went 2-2 and hit her MAC-leading 24th home run of the season.
Central Michigan got off to a very fast start on Sunday, plating four runs in the top of the first inning to take an early commanding advantage. An infield error sandwiched between two singles loaded the bases for the visitors with no outs. Brogan Darwin then hit a two-RBI single in the next at bat, and advanced to second on the throw home. A single by Cory DeLamieller brought in two more runs, one directly and the second via a rundown situation in which DeLamieller was caught between first and second. The distraction allowed Brittney Horan to sneak home to make it 4-0.
Ohio answered back in the bottom of the frame, scoring two unearned runs to halve CMU’s early lead. Erin Lashley (Pickerington, Ohio) got on board via an infield error and Gellerman followed with a single. These two Bobcats advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, putting two runners in scoring position. A Hortman sacrifice fly brought in Ohio’s first run of day to pull the ‘Cats within three runs (4-1). Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) then blasted a double to left center, bringing Gellerman around to score to halve the early four-run deficit.
The Chippewas then added six more runs in the second and third innings, capitalizing on six hits and one Ohio error to take a 10-2 lead. Key in this scoring for Central Michigan was a bases-clearing double by Horan in the top of the third inning.
Gellerman hit her 24th long ball of the season in the bottom of the same frame, pulling the ‘Cats within seven runs at 10-3.
CMU kept up its offensive onslaught throughout the rest of the game, scoring two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to take a 13-3 advantage. Ohio fought back in the bottom of the fifth when Gebele hit a two-run home run following Gellerman’s third intentional walk of the weekend. This pulled the ‘Cats within eight runs (13-5), but Ohio could not close the gap any tighter and fell in five innings.
Ohio will next be in action on Wednesday, May 8 at the 2013 MAC Tournament. The Bobcats will take on No. 7 seed Bowling Green at 1:30 p.m. All games will be played at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University softball team dropped a 2-0 decision to Buffalo in its regular season finale on Sunday. The RedHawks finish 12-10 in the Mid-American Conference and 19-32 overall. The Bulls are 6-14 in the MAC and 19-32 overall.
Miami will be the fifth seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament. The ‘Hawks will take on the eighth seed Toledo on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the double elimination tournament.
The game was a pitcher’s duel between Miami’s Paige Myers and Buffalo’s Tori Speckman. Not even a 25 minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning could get either pitcher off their game. Both teams were able to manage only two hits each through five innings.
Buffalo finally broke through in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, a solo home run over the left field wall by Alexis Curtiss put the Bulls on the board. Megan Mattera came in to relieve Myers, but a double and a fielding error gave Buffalo another run and a 2-0 lead. Shanyn McIntyre was able to get a two-out single off Speckman in the bottom of the seventh, but that was it as the Bulls took a 2-0 win.
Myers finished the game allowing one run on three hits in 5.1 innings pitched. She struck out three. In addition to McIntyre, Jenna Modic and Kayla Ledbetter each recorded hits for the RedHawks.
MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State softball team ended the 2013 regular season with a 5-3 Senior Day setback to Kent State Sunday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex.
The 2013 Mid-American Conference Regular Season Champion Cardinals return to action at 5 p.m. Thursday as the No. 1 seed in the 2013 MAC Softball Tournament at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
As the No. 1 seed, the Cardinals (35-15 /18-3 MAC) receive a double-bye in the double-elimination tournament.
Kent State, which improved to 27-19-1 (16-6 MAC) with the victory, locked up the No. 2 seed in the league tournament and will also take a double-bye into Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. contest.
In celebration of senior day, the Cardinals turned to senior pitcher Lauren Williamson for the starting nod in Sunday’s showdown. In her first career start in the circle, Williamson did not disappoint by limiting the Golden Flashes to three hits and one run in 2.1 innings of work.
Also starting in their final home games were senior center fielder Amanda Carpenter, senior catcher Sadie Robertson and senior designated player Julie Cortez. Senior pitcher Audra Sanders also saw action in relief of Williamson in the circle.
Robertson finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate, while Carpenter drew a walk and added a sacrifice fly.
Kent State broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the second inning, thanks to a two-out RBI blooper from Caitie Kilbane which was just out of reach of three Ball State infielders.
The Golden Flashes added a second run on a leadoff homer from Michele Duffy in the top of the fourth to pull ahead 2-0.
With steady rain falling in the top of the fifth, the Golden Flashes were able to capitalize on a hit batter to open the inning. Following a brief one-minute and 37 second rain delay, a BSU error put runners at second and third. The wet conditions then contributed to three straight walks to push the guests ahead 4-0.
With bases loaded and still no outs in the bottom of the inning, freshman pitcher Nicole Steinbach would enter the game and strikeout the next two batters and force an inning-ending groundout to limit the damage to just two runs. In three innings of work, Steinbach allowed just two hits and one earned run, while striking out four batters.
Ball State answered with all three of its runs in the bottom of the fifth, in a rally started by an infield bunt single from sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox. After a groundout, back-to-back walks to sophomore right fielder Hanne Stuedemann and junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert loaded the bases for the Cardinals.
Junior first baseman Taylor Rager then sliced a two-run single through the right side to cut the Kent State advantage to 4-2. Carpenter would follow with a sacrifice fly to left field in the next at bat, driving in Gilbert from third. Unfortunately, KSU was able to double-up the BSU pinch runner at second after the run crossed to end the inning.
Kent State would get one of the runs back in the top of the sixth as Dani Remos led off the inning with a single, stole second and came around to score on a Kim Kirkpatrick single.
Ball State put runners at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, but unfortunately could not push the tying runs across.
Gilbert would tally a one-out triple in the seventh in an attempt to spark another BSU rally, but a pop up and groundout ended the game.
Lauren McNeil picked up the win in the circle for Kent State, improving to 6-6 on the year by limiting the Ball State offense to six hits and three earned runs over 4.1 innings of work.
Alyssa Frankenfield picked up her second save of the year by throwing the final 2.2 innings and surrendering just two hits. Both Kent State pitchers struck out three BSU batters.
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron softball team ended its season on a high note Sunday afternoon, snapping a four game skid and shutting down Eastern Michigan 2-0 in front of the hometown crowd at Lee R. Jackson Field.
Akron closes out the 2013 campaign with a 23-28 overall record and an 8-14 mark in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips just miss qualifying for the MAC Tournament, losing a tie-breaking scenario to Toledo for the eighth and final spot.
Erin Seiler pitched a gem, improving to 17-19 in her rookie season. The freshman went the distance, earning the complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and just four hits.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie through three full innings until Akron struck with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Lisa Lash drew a walk, Shawna Hochstetler singled through the left side and Kellie Roudabush was hit by a pitch in quick succession to load the bases for Alissa Birkhimer.
The senior came through in the last game of her career, lining a single to left to drive home Lash and earning what would become the game-winning RBI. Eastern Michigan made a pitching change, bringing in Saturday's starter in Jenna Ignowski, but it did not keep Jessica Schneider from picking up an RBI single of her own to give UA the 2-0 advantage.
EMU threatened to come back in the top of the sixth, getting ahead with a leadoff single before Seiler issued back-to-back strikeouts. The Eagles put runners on the corners for their cleanup hitter, third baseman Nellie Coquillard, but Cassie Gleisner came up with the long fly ball to left, ending the threat of rally and preserving the shoutout.