Eastern Michigan 7, Northern Illinois 4
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University softball team took care of business in capturing a 7-4 victory over Mid-American Conference West Division rival Northern Illinois University on Senior Day at Varsity Field Sunday afternoon, May 9, but it wasn't enough to earn a MAC Tournament berth as Buffalo and Bowling Green sneaked in with victories Sunday.
A back-and-forth battle was put to an end with a four-run fifth inning for EMU, highlighted by junior Stacie Skodinski's two-run double the left-field to give the Eagles a 6-3 lead, one they would not relinquish.
The win improves the EMU's record to 18-30-1 overall, 8-13-1 in the Mid-American Conference while the loss drops the Huskies to 22-32 (10-10 MAC).
Senior Michelle Hletko led the EMU senior class with four solid innings in relief of starter Jamie Melchert to pick up her second straight win in as many days and move to 4-1 on the year. Sophomore Sarah Gerber went 3-for-3 to push her season batting average over the .300-mark and added two RBIs and a run on the day. Skodinski finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored.
In the top of the first, Northern Illinois took the early lead after Zoe Sinner's RBI single capped a three-hit frame for the visitors. However, the Eagles answered right back with two runs in their half of the first with Gerber's two-run double down the left-field line.
In the fourth inning, NIU would regain the lead with two runs thanks to a Dani Parrish two-run single. Hletko and the Eagles got out of the inning without any further damage as the Huskies left three runners on base to end it.
A big fifth inning is what keyed the victory for the Green and White. Senior Jenny Scherer reached on a single through the left side, her lone hit on the afternoon, before Skodinski made it four straight hits for the Eagles with her two-run double to left, chasing NIU starter Morgan Bittner out of the game. Monica Segura entered, but wouldn't have better luck as Nellie Coquillard and Kaylee Tolliver each chipped in RBI singles to make it six straight hits and that was all EMU needed.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the sixth before taking the win, 7-4. EMU's season has ended as Buffalo and Bowling Green each captured Sunday victories to grab the final two spots in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Central Michigan 5, Western Michigan 1
Western Michigan 2, Central Michigan 1
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan softball team concluded its 2010 regular season with a doubleheader split against Western Michigan at Margo Jonker Stadium on Sunday.
The Chippewas (26-17, 12-8 Mid-American) belted a pair of home runs in a 5-1 victory over the Broncos in game one, but the Maroon and Gold were unable to muster enough offense in a 2-1, nine-inning setback in the nightcap.
CMU enters the MAC Tournament next week as the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 Ohio in the first round on Wednesday. First pitch is at 11 a.m.
Chippewas Power Past Broncos in Opener
CMU got on the board early as Katie Greenman blasted a solo home run, her second of the year, with two down in the top of the first inning. After a Molly Coldren walk, Amanda Patrick drilled an RBI double to left center to give the Chippewas an early 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless second, the Maroon and Gold plated two more runs in the bottom of the third on the strength of Coldren's 11th homer of the year, a two-run blast, to make it a 4-0 contest.
Western got on the board on Gracie Barstad's RBI single with two down to make it a 4-1 contest, but Central responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame on Jill Schulz' RBI single.
The offense was more than enough for Kari Seddon, who improved to 15-9 by pitching all seven innings and holding the Broncos to one run on two hits. She also struck out five batters.
Western Nips Central in the Ninth
It appeared that Central was on its way to a sweep as it took advantage of a Western error that allowed Coldren to touch home to take a 1-0 lead in the second.
CMU maintained the 1-0 lead until the top of the fourth, when Barstad launched a solo home run over the left field wall to tie the game at one apiece.
The score went to extra innings tied at 1-1 despite numerous scoring chances for the Chippewas. CMU had at least one base runner in every inning from the fourth inning on. The best chance came in the eighth where Ashley Gilson led off with a double and moved to third with one out, but was unable to score.
Western took its first lead of the day on Meredith Whitney's RBI single with two-outs in the top of the ninth. The Broncos held on despite putting the first two batters aboard in the bottom of the frame.
Kara Dornbos tossed all nine innings and dropped to 10-5 despite allowing only two runs on five hits. She fanned five batters and walked only one.
Every game of the Chippewas' run through the MAC Tournament will be carried on WMHW-FM 91.5. A complete schedule and a tournament bracket is available courtesy of mac-sports.com.
Buffalo 12, Toledo 5
Buffalo 9, Toledo 4
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo softball team wrapped up the regular season with a doubleheader against Toledo, sweeping the Rockets to earn their second ever trip to the Mid-American Conference tournament. Prior to the games, the Bulls honored their four seniors, as Sharon Barr, Kristen Gallipani, Jaime Sheffler and Katie Ivancichall participated in their final game at Nan Harvey Field. After the 12-5 and 9-4 wins, the Bulls finish the regular season with a record of 21-32 overall, 9-13 MAC.
The Bulls started off game one with an eight run scoring spree, to take an 8-0 lead after the first inning. It started with a pair of Toledo errors, but Lindsay Hampton, Sheffler, Gallipani, Ashley Bertot, Taylor Franich, and Kristin Waldron all earned RBIs. The Rockets got on the board with a run in the top of the second, but Hampton earned another RBI in the bottom of the second to counter their score. Toledo staged a comeback, scoring five runs in the top of the fourth, but the Bulls held on, scoring three more runs, including a home run from Alex Bejarano to secure the win. Hampton led the team with three RBIs, while Alyssa Ward tallied a team-high three hits in the game.
Terese Diaz started game one on the mound, pitching three innings, striking out two batters before Barr came in as relief to finish up the final four innings. Barr struck out eight batters, while holding the Rockets to one earned run.
The Bulls saw success in game two as well, putting up a score in every inning except the first. The Buffalo scoring was highlighted by a two run home run from Jessica Griffin in the bottom of the third inning and another homer from Ward in the bottom of the fifth. Franich had three RBIs to lead the Bulls in game two. Bertot collected three stolen bases on the day, giving her 26 for the season. The freshman is already ranked third on UB's all-time stolen base list.
Barr picked up the win in game two, while Diaz earned the save as she came in for relief. They combined for four strikeouts.
With the sweep today, the Bulls earn the final spot in the MAC tournament, which gets started on Wednesday, May 10 in Akron, Ohio. The Bulls' last trip to the tournament was in 2005, which was their first ever appearance.
Ball State 4, Ohio 0
Ohio 5, Ball State 4
MUNCIE, Ind. - During Senior Day at the BSU Softball Complex in Muncie, the Ball State softball team split a doubleheader with Ohio. The Cardinals shutout the Bobcats 4-0 in the first game and then suffered a 5-4 loss in game two. With 39 wins and 14 losses overall, the Cardinals tied the 1998 school record for victories in one season and finished Mid-American Conference play at 17-5. Ohio finishes its season at 19-30 overall and 13-8 in the MAC.
The doubleheader marked the regular season finale for the defending Mid-American Conference Champions who repeated as the MAC West Division champions. Overall, Ball State earned its second MAC Regular Season Championship title in two years but shares the honor with Kent State who also finished MAC play at 17-5. Ball State enters the MAC Tournament as the No. 2 seed to the Golden Flashes who swept the Cardinals 3-2 and 6-5 in Kent, Ohio April 17-18. The Cardinals will face the No. 7 seed, Buffalo, at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Akron, Ohio.
GAME 1: Ball State 4, Ohio 0
Jessie Ware (Phoenix, Ariz./Hamilton) who was celebrating two occasions at the field - Mother's Day and her last home game as a Cardinal - started things off for the offense in the first inning notching a single to left field. Then, with Ware on second and Lisa Rozanski (Tampa, Fla./Alonso) walked, Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) slugged a double to score Ware and advance Rozanski to third. Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) is credited with driving in the second run of the day as Rozanski scored on her single. The inning ended with three runners left on base and 10 would be stranded throughout the game.
In the second inning, Barkley hit her second double of the game to score Sadie Robertson (Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit) who was on base after singling up the middle. Robertson was two for three at bat in the game and Barkley was three for four.
The Cardinals scored their final run in the fourth inning, which again began with a single by Robertson. Ware followed and reached on a fielder's choice that also advanced Robertson to second. Robertson is credited with the run and scored after Ohio's Emily Wethington made an error on first base a hit by Amanda Carpenter (Santee, Calif/Santana).
Ball State saw three of Ohio's four pitchers in the game, including starting pitcher Caitlin Colvin, Candace Saucedo and Melissa Bonner. Colvin was credited with the loss and is 1-6 this season.
Elizabeth Milian (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) was in the circle for the Cardinals and allowed five hits and zero runs from the Bobcats' offense while striking out 10 batters. The shutout marks Milian's 10th of the season and the team's 13th. The ace finished the regular season with a 28-5 record on the mound.
GAME 2: Ohio 5, Ball State 4
The Ball State offense again beat the Bobcats to the scoreboard and put up a run in the first inning. Barkley is credited with the unearned run after crossing home on a fielding error by Ohio's centerfielder, Shalene Petrich. With Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) starting on the mound for Ball State, the Bobcats were held to no runs or hits in the first two innings.
Ohio's offenes rallied in the third inning, however, and put two players on base after Alexis Zambrana tallied a single and Brooke Morgart a double. Then, Paige Kemezis hit a home run to score three runs and give the Bobcats a two run lead on the Cardinals.
The Bobcats extended their lead in the fourth inning when Jordan Paden slugged a home run to score both herself and Elizabeth Eyrise who was pinch running for Deanna Hartsough, representing one of Sanders' two walks in the game. Following the home run, Milian took the mound in place of Sanders and would allow just one hit in her 3.2 innings in the circle.
With the scoreboard showing 5-1, the Cardinals were unable to score again until the sixth inning when Ware began the momentum with a single and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice hit by Rozanski and then third on a sacrifice hit by Barkley. Carpenter drove in Ware, but with two outs already charged to Ball State, the offense was unable to drive in another run and the Bobcats continued to lead by three runs going into the last scheduled inning of play.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals first two batters Jen Reifschneider (Wichita, Kan./Maize) and Jen Moore (Canton, Ohio/Jackson) flied out and struck out, respectively. Kristy Stratton (Paw Paw, Mich./Paw Paw) was next up for Ball State in place of Robertson and was hit by Bonner's pitch on a full count to keep the Cardinals alive. Ware followed with a triple - her 16th of the season - to score Jackie Durment (Glenville, Ill./Glenbrook South) who was pinch running for Stratton. The Ball State rally would be continued for one more play as Rozanski singled through the left side to drive in Ware and cut the Bobcats' lead to one run. The late game drive proved too little, too late for the Cardinals, however, as Barkley flied out to Petrich to end the game at 5-4.
Up next for the Cardinals is the MAC Tournament May 12-15 at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
Miami 2, Akron 1
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami softball team had a successful senior day on Sunday, winning its sixth straight game with a 2-1 decision over Akron. The RedHawks finish the regular season at 31-22 overall and 14-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips finish 20-34 overall and 7-15 in the MAC.
Sunday's win was the 113th for the 2010 seniors in four years of play, which ties them with the class of 1991 as the winningest class in Miami history. Senior pitcher Shalise Lugo got the start for the RedHawks and pitched well, giving up only a second inning run and two hits while striking out two. Senior Meredith Linch (13-7) came in to relieve her and was even better, throwing a no-hitter over the final five innings while striking out four.
Miami got its first run in the bottom of the second inning. Standing on first base, senior Alicia Hogl stole second to get into scoring position. Two batters later, Taylor Rice singled to left center, allowing Hogl to come home and tie the game at one.
In the bottom of the third, Daniela Torres led off with a single to third base. She then stole second to get into scoring position. Senior Sarah Billstrom followed with a single to left field that put the RedHawks in front 2-1, which ended up being all they needed.
Billstrom finished the day 3-for-3 with one RBI. Rice was 2-for-2 with a walk and one RBI.
Miami will be the third seed as it looks to repeat in the MAC Tournament that begins on Wednesday. The RedHawks will open with sixth seed Northern Illinois on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Kent State 2, Bowling Green 1
Bowling Green 8, Kent State 3
KENT, Ohio - For the fifth consecutive season, Kent State has earned a Mid-American Conference East Division title after sweeping a doubleheader from Toledo Friday at "The Diamond at Dix." Beth Cinadr belted home runs in each contest as the Flashes (29-19, 16-4 MAC) took the opener 2-1, before smacking 12 hits in an 8-3 win in game two.
Senior hurler Kylie Reynolds (22-14) struck out 15 and allowed just two hits in the opener. In the first through fourth innings, Reynolds fanned eight consecutive batters.
"Kylie was throwing hard and was hitting her spots," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "She pitched really, really well. She was in total control and it was one of the best performances I've seen from her. They're a good hitting team and she did a nice job of shutting them down."
Kent State's only runs came in the bottom of the fourth when Cinadr lifted a two-run blast to opposite field. Lauren Grimes reached on an infield single to put a runner on for Cinadr.
"Beth is doing her job right now," Linder said. "This is what we need her to do this time of year."
The Rockets first hit came in the sixth and their only run came in the seventh with two outs, when Mica Sanchez hit a solo shot down the left field line.
KSU finished with only four hits in the first game, but Reynolds never allowed more than one base runner in any inning. Reynolds also came on in relief during the seventh inning of game two. She fanned all three of the batters she faced, giving her 18 strikeouts in eight innings on the day.
The Flashes piled up five first-inning runs in game two. Leah Archual started the rally with a hard single through the right side. Cinadr singled to right, setting up a two-run double to center by Jess Carmichael.
"It's important to have the middle of the lineup come through," Linder said of Cinadr and Carmichael, who combined for seven hits and six RBIs on the day.
A walk to Jess Blanton put two runners on for Mary Holt, who made it a 5-0 game with her fifth home run of the year. Holt's three-run shot carried over the left field fence and led to the early exit of Rocket starter Hannah Rockhold.
With two outs in the second and reliever Whitney Young in the circle, Cinadr sent her second home run of the day to left field. A walk to Heather Duhon put the first runner on in the inning.
Starter Markie Pozzuto did not allow a hit until the third inning when the Rockets scored their first run on three singles to center. Toledo tallied three more hits in the fourth, but Pozzuto left the bases loaded without allowing a run. The left-handed junior improved to 3-1 on the season.
The Flashes added a run in the fifth behind singles from Archual and pinch hitter Shannon Laughlin. Archual and Carmichael each had four hits on the day.
"We played good defense today and everyone's doing their job right now," Linder added. "We showed up in all phases of the game."
Miami's Friday sweep of Ohio helped the Flashes clinch the East Division crown. KSU remains tied with Ball State for the best record in the conference.
Kent State returns to action Saturday (May 8) for a single game against Bowling Green at 2 p.m.