Ball State 13, Western Michgian 0
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan's softball team did not have an answer for Ball State's offense as the visiting Cardinals handed the Broncos a 13-0 defeat in five innings at Fran Ebert Field on Saturday afternoon.
The bulk of the damage was done in the top of the second inning as Ball State racked up eight runs on seven hits. The Cardinals, which lead the Mid-American Conference West Division, tacked on another run in the top of the third due to a pair of WMU errors. BSU's final four runs of the game came in the top of the fourth on six hits.
In all, Ball State had five extra base hits, including two doubles and three triples. Western Michigan collected three hits on the day with Meredith Whitney ripping a shot back up the middle in the bottom of the second. Courtney Rousseau bunted for a base hit and Gracie Barstad singled up the middle in the bottom of the fifth.
WMU's best chance to post runs came in the bottom of the second and third innings. After Whitney's second-inning single, Michelle Bendewald drew a walk as did Rousseau to load the bases with two outs. Kayla Houston struck out on five pitches to end the threat and leave the bases loaded. In the bottom of the third Sarah Thomas led off with a walk and Jenn Tschetter was hit by a pitch to put the first two batters of the inning on base. A foul out and two strikeouts later and the scoring chance was gone.
Western Michigan did break a 76-day drought between defensive double plays in the loss. In the top of the first, Alicia Barkley lined out to Bendewald at shortstop. She zipped the ball over to Diana Patterson to throw out Lisa Rozanski and give WMU its first defensive double play since Feb. 13 against No. 11 California.
The Broncos close out the 2010 home season with a 1 p.m. tilt against Ball State on Sunday. Action begins with the Senior Day ceremony, honoring Molly Lange, Chelsea Westenburg, Meghan Thomas and Sarah Thomas prior to the game.
Kent State 9, Central Michigan 1
Kent State 4, Central Michigan 2
KENT, Ohio - Lauren Grimes launched three home runs in Kent State's doubleheader sweep of Central Michigan Saturday at "The Diamond at Dix." After winning the opener 9-1 in six innings, Grimes was intentionally walked in the bottom of the seventh with one out and the score tied 2-2. Beth Cinadr then made the Chippewas pay for their decision with an opposite field homer that gave the Golden Flashes a 4-2 victory.
Grimes belted her third round tripper of the day in the first inning of game two. She was intentionally walked in each of her last three at bats.
"I knew if they were going to walk Grimes, Beth would welcome that opportunity," Head Coach Karen Linder said of Cinadr's final at bat. "Beth has been crushing the ball in practice and it was just a matter of time."
Behind the solo shot from Grimes, the Flashes held a 1-0 lead through three innings, getting solid pitching from Markie Pozzuto. The Chippewas drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, moved the runner over on a bunt and tied the game with a single to center by Amanda Patrick. Kylie Reynolds came on in relief with one out and stranded runners on second and third.
In the fifth, Central Michigan took advantage of one of five hit-by-pitches in game two. Pinch runner Brittni Merchant stole second and scored on a bloop single by Katie Greenman.
In the bottom half of the fifth the Flashes loaded the bases with one out for the second time in three innings and could not bring a run home. In the sixth it was the Chippewas' turn to load the bases with one out, before stranding three.
KSU continued to live and die by the longball in the sixth when Alyssa Frobase hit a solo shot to center, tying the game 2-2.
A leadoff hit-by-pitch in the seventh put the go-ahead run on for Central Michigan, but catcher Ashlee Hein gunned down her second runner of the game, attempting to steal second. Earlier, Hein had thrown out leadoff batter Christina Novak, who was 23-of-24 on stolen base attempts.
"We talked about her (Novak) ability to run in the scouting report," Linder said. "And both throws were right on the money."
Novak's speed helped produce CMU's first run in game one and the Chippewas held a 1-0 until a Grimes homer to opposite field in the third. Central Michigan starter Kari Seddon struck out eight batters in the opener, but could not make it out of the game-changing fourth inning.
With two on and two outs in the fourth, Frobase lined a double off the right field fence to give the Flashes the lead (2-1). Heather Duhon followed with a double down the right field line. Relief pitcher Sarah Patterson came in and immediately gave up an RBI single to Leah Archual. After a walk to Grimes, it was Cinadr's turn for an RBI single up the middle and a wild pitch made it a six-run inning for the Flashes.
"We usually hit pitchers that have good speed," Linder said of Seddon. "And we did a good job of going with the outside pitches."
A walk to Duhon in the sixth set up the second home run of the day for Grimes, this time to center field, allowing the run rule to take effect. Grimes had not homered since March 31, but her three dingers on the day gives her a team high 11 home runs on the season. She walked four times Saturday and scored five runs.
"For the last two weeks she's (Grimes) been talking to us about where her power went and today she found it," Linder said. "She's got great hand-eye coordination and she did a good job of keeping her hands back today."
Reynolds earned wins in both games, totaling 11 strikeouts. She and Pozzuto each allowed just one hit in game two.
"Other than putting too many runners on, our pitchers got the job done today," Linder said. "Markie did a nice job through three innings and Kylie battled through finger problems."
Cinadr went 4-for-7 on the day, while Archual finished with three hits.
Kent State returns to action Tuesday (May 4) for its final non-conference game of the regular season, hosting Robert Morris at 4 p.m.
Northern Illinois 3, Miami 2
DEKALB, Ill. - Playing in its third-straight extra inning game in two days the Northern Illinois University softball team posted a 3-2 10-inning victory over Miami Saturday afternoon at Mary M. Bell Field.
Just a day after losing back-to-back extra inning affairs to Ball State, the Huskies (20-31, 9-8) were able to breakthrough for the win in dramatic fashion against the RedHawks. With the game tied 2-2 and runners at second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th, Carly Norton laid down a perfect bunt to score Adriana Sanchez (San Fernando, Calif./Alemany), who was placed on second to start the inning per conference rules and advanced to third on a lead-off base hit by Michelle Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard), on the suicide squeeze for the game-winning run.
"We keep showing we're resilient and we have fighting spirit," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "It's speaking to the change in the level of play. Last year, we lost both games to Ball State and got beat pretty handily by Miami last year at this time. We're getting there slowly but surely."
Miami (25-21, 10-7) opened the scoring with a run in the third and another in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. The RedHawks starting pitcher, Meredith Linch was dealing, throwing a perfect game through the first three frames. Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) broke it up in a big way with a solo homer to center field in the fourth.
The Huskies tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Zoe Sinner (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) led off the inning with a double to right center. Kate Welsh (Wilmington, Ill./Bishop McNamara), who came into pinch run for Sinner, advanced to third on a groundout by Andrea Colosimo (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg). A double by Sanchez scored Welsh from third for the tying run.
While today's victory went a long way in the Huskies Mid-American Conference tournament, Chouinard knows there is still more softball yet to be played.
"We still need more wins in my opinion," she said. "I don't want to leave it up to chance. I don't want to rely on other people to beat certain teams to get it done. As we've shown this weekend and today, we're more than capable of coming out and playing great ball and getting big wins."
Northern Illinois University wraps up its series with Miami Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker or they can listen in by subscribing to Huskies All-Access at NIUHuskies.com. Sunday is Senior Day for NIU's four seniors, Kayla Kramer, Allie Parker, Welsh and Williams.
Ohio 10, Bowling Green 9
Ohio 9, Bowling Green 1
ATHENS, Ohio - Storms may have threatened the Athens area, but it was a pair of walk-off homers from Jordan Paden and Melissa Bonner that provided the thunder as Ohio softball capped off a wild weekend with a Senior Day sweep of Bowling Green, 10-9 (eight) and 9-1 (five), Saturday afternoon.
With the sweep, Ohio has won its last six Mid-American Conference contests and seven of its last eight conference games overall.
Wearing pink uniforms in honor of the fight against breast cancer, Ohio put on an offensive display for the second day in a row, tallying a combined 21 hits on the day, including five homers. The ‘Cats finished the weekend with 44 hits overall while hitting a sizzling .423 as a team.
Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio), Paden (Walla Walla, Wash.) and Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) continued their torrid hitting from the previous day. Gellerman led all Bobcat hitters with five hits on the day, finishing the afternoon a combined 5-for-6 with two homers, two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored. Bonner added another four hits and six total RBI, including her walk-off grand slam to end game two via the run rule. Paden added three hits and two RBI of her own, including her walk-off shot in the eighth inning of game one.
Things certainly looked menacing for Ohio early in game one as BGSU took advantage of three costly Ohio errors to take a 6-1 lead after an inning and a half. The Falcons scored two in the top of the first, after which the ‘Cats put one of their own on the board on an RBI groundout from Shalene Petrich (Chehalis, Wash.) that scored Bonner. Two Green and White miscues in the second resulted in four BGSU runs, three of which were unearned.
Ohio came storming back with seven huge runs in the bottom of the second. Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio) drove in the first run of the frame with a single to right that scored Gellerman, who had walked previously. Bonner then drew a bases-loaded walk to score Paden for the second run of the inning. Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) then singled to left to score Alexis Zambrana (Alvin, Texas), who had singled earlier. Emily Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) then capped off the stanza with a monstrous grand slam to left center to put the ‘Cats on top 8-6 after two.
A Rachel Proehl RBI single in the top of the third pulled the Falcons to within a run. Both squads scattered hits over the next couple innings, but neither side was able to put anything on the board. BGSU took advantage of another costly Ohio error to tie the action at eight in the top of the sixth. Neither team was able to get any runs in the seventh to put the game into extra innings.
Paige Berger slammed a homer to left center to put the Falcons on top 9-8 heading into the eighth. Even that would not last long as Gellerman blasted her first homer of the day to left center to open the bottom of the inning. The very next pitch, Paden crushed her game-winning shot over the wall in left to bring the game to a close. Candace Saucedo (Ontario, Calif.) pitched six innings of relief, giving up just one earned run to pick up the win, her first of the season, and improve to 1-3 overall.
Paden and Gellerman each finished the day 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Wethington drove in four. Kemezis also came in 2-for-3 with an RBI in the contest, while Petrich and Morgart also each drove in a run.
The ‘Cats kept their momentum from game one going early in the second game as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the second. Gellerman opened things by blasting her second homer of the day to left center. Deanna Hartsough (Santa Ana, Calif.) then drew a two-out walk and was brought in following a big triple to left from Morgart, her first of the season. She came in on the next play on an infield single from Bonner for the third run of the inning. Kemezis followed with a single herself, but Ohio was unable to get anything more.
Paden extended the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third with an RBI single. BGSU cut into the lead with a leadoff homer from Karmen Coffey to open up the fourth.
Five big Bobcat runs in the fifth finished the Falcons off, due to the run rule. Wethington walked and then came in on Gellerman's second double of the day to right center. Paden then walked and Hartsough reached on a fielder's choice that saw Gellerman get out on the play. Morgart followed by drawing a walk to load the bases. Bonner then smacked the game-winning grand slam to right to bring the contest to a close via the run rule.
Bonner finished 3-for-4 with five RBI to lead the Green and White in the contest, while Gellerman finished a perfect 3-for-3 with her homer, two doubles and two RBI. Paden and Morgart also drove in runs on the game. Wethington gave up just two hits while striking out five to get the win and improve to 6-11 overall on the year.
In between the two games, Ohio paid tribute to a talented trio of seniors, as Hartsough, Petrich and Saucedo all played in the final home games of their Bobcat careers. Each of the three were all-conference performers at some point during their four years in Athens, while Petrich own's the program's all-time record for runs scored.
Ohio wraps up the regular season next weekend as it heads to Oxford to battle rival Miami Friday before taking on Ball State Saturday and Sunday.
Toledo 7, Akron 5
Akron 7, Toledo 2
AKRON, OH - Toledo's softball team split its doubleheader at Akron on Saturday, taking the first game by a 7-5 tally in eight innings while falling 7-2 in game two.Originally scheduled as single games on Saturday and Sunday, the decision was made Saturday morning to play a doubleheader due to inclement weather moving into Northeast Ohio.
With the split, Toledo moved to 12-35 (4-14 MAC) on the season, while the Zips are now 20-30 (7-11) on the season.
UT led throughout the first game but needed some extra time to finish off Akron. The Rockets went hitless in the first two innings, but Brooke Gates led off the third with a shot over the 210-foot sign in left center, her third home run of the season and first since March 7 against Temple to give Toledo the early 1-0 lead.
Cassie Gleisner led off the Zips third with a blooper into shallow right center that dropped safely, but Melissa Rons alertly picked it up and fired to second to cut her down as she tried to extend the hit into a double.
Akron came back to even the score in the fourth, as Heather Bauer singled into right center and stole second to start the inning. She went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a successful squeeze bunt in front of the plate by Alex Feltes. Later, the Zips advanced runners to second and third with two outs, but Hannah Rockhold induced a grounder to Gates at short, and her throw nipped Sarah Stromack at first to keep it tied at one.
With two down and nobody on in the fifth, Gates blooped a double into shallow right field that bounced off the second basemen's glove, and Kattie Palmer followed by ripping a double down the left field line to score Gates and put Toledo back in front, 2-1.
Toledo's defense came up with two big plays to start the fifth and maintain the lead. After a leadoff single by Gleisner, Lacey LeVier cut her down at second on an attempted sacrifice bunt. Then, Mica Sanchez delivered a strike to Sam Toy, who applied the tag as Sarah Earley tried to steal second and over slid the bag.
UT earned some breathing room in the sixth with some clutch two-out hitting. Kate Ricchio led off the frame with a soft single over shortstop and took second a stolen base, her 15th in 15 attempts this season. After a groundout, Ricchio went to third on a deep fly out to left by Wright, and Spink smacked a single into center to bring her home.
Sanchez then reached on an infield single, diving headfirst into the bag to beat the throw, and Lacey LeVier lined a shot into the gap in right center to score Sanchez and Ashley Herr, who came in to run for Spink.
Rockhold worked out trouble in the bottom of the inning, as Krista Hansen doubled to left with one out in the sixth, and a hit batter put two runners on with two out. But the senior avoided trouble with a nifty changeup on the inside corner for a swinging strike three to end the rally.
However, Akron made another surge in the seventh, as the Zips loaded the bases with one down. A sacrifice fly made it 5-2, and Hansen singled up the middle to cut UT's lead to 5-3. After another single re-loaded the bases, Alissa Birkhimer hit a ball up the middle that Toy made a diving stop on, but she couldn't flip it to second in time for the forceout, and two runners came in to score on the play to knot the game at five.
Wright and Spink led off the eighth with back-to-back walks, and Sanchez hit a blooper that landed just fair inside the right field line to load the bases. LeVier smacked another RBI hit over the bag at second and into second to put UT back in front 6-5. With two down, McKenna Smith came in to pinch hit, worked the count full with several foul balls, and drew the walk to make it 7-5.
Rockhold then worked a perfect eighth, setting down the Zips in order to close out the first game.
Akron jumped to a 3-0 lead in game two, scoring once in the first and two more times in the second. The Zips pushed their advantage to 5-0 in the fourth with two more tallies, taking advantage of a pair of Rocket errors.
UT managed just two hits in the first five frames, but scored twice in the top of the sixth as Spink cranked her sixth homer of the spring with a blast over the wall in left center.
But Akron answered with a two-run homer of its own in the bottom of the inning to bump its edge to 7-2.
The Rockets conclude their season with a doubleheader at Kent State on Friday and single games at Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday.
Eastern Michigan 13, Buffalo 5
Buffalo 8, Eastern Michigan 4
BUFFALO, NY (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University softball team recorded a doubleheader split for the second straight day by defeating the University at Buffalo, 13-5, in game one before dropping game two to the Bulls, 8-4, in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional meeting at Nan Harvey Field Saturday, May 1.
With the split, the Eagles move to 17-28 overall, 6-12 in Mid-American Conference play, while the Bulls move to 18-31 (6-12 MAC).
Jenny Scherer went 5-for-8 on the day including 4-for-4 in game one with four RBI and three runs scored while adding her 12th home run of the season and 48th for her career. The senior led an EMU offensive attack that tallied 13 runs on 12 hits in game one and four runs on six hits in game two. Jessica Richards added a 4-for-8 effort with three runs scored while Lauren Delapaz went 2-for-4 with four runs batted in.
The Eagles set the tone right off the bat, with four runs on four hits in the first inning of game one. Freshman Nellie Coquillard added her sixth home run in the season, a two-run shot, in giving starting pitcher Jaclyn Caro (1-4) an early lead as she went on to capture her first win of the season.
After allowing a run to the Bulls in the bottom half of the first, Caro bounced back to toss three consecutive scoreless innings. Despite allowing four runs in the fifth inning, the Eagles still went on to run-rule Buffalo in five innings, 13-5.
What opened the flood gates was a six-run fourth inning in which sophomore Sarah Gerber contributed a two-run double along with a bases clearing three-run double by Delapaz. The junior took a three-game hitting streak into game two, homering twice while driving in six runs during that span.
In the fifth inning of game one, Scherer blasted her 12th long ball of the season to provide the final tally for the Eagles in a 13-5 win. Scherer has been on a tear lately, recording hits in 15-of-her-last-16 games including seven multi-hit games and home runs in three straight games prior to game two Saturday. Her average has gone up 49 points, from .270 at the beginning of the week to .319 at week's end.
In game two, the Eagles jumped out to another 4-0 advantage, recording single tallies in the second and third innings on a sacrifice fly by Delapaz and a run-scoring single by Gerber before adding two more in the fourth thanks to a pair of RBI singles by Jessica Patterson and Katy Blaharski.
Buffalo responded in a big way in its half of the fifth, scoring seven runs on eight hits, highlighted by a three-run home run to left-center by Jessica Griffin. Prior to the outburst, Eagle starter Jillian Williamson had been cruising right along, tossing four straight scoreless innings to begin the game. However, an unfortunate fifth inning forced EMU Interim Head Coach Eric Oakley to make a change by bringing in senior Michelle Hletko in relief.
Buffalo hurler Sharon Barr tossed four scoreless inning in relief to earn the win and move to 13-17 on the season. Meanwhile, Williamson falls to 4-5 with the loss.
The Eagles have four conference games remaining against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, but will first travel across town to take on Washtenaw County foe and second-ranked nationally, Michigan, at Alumni Field on the campus of the University of Michigan this Wednesday, May 5, at 6 p.m.