Ball State 10, Kent State 0
MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State Softball shut out Mid-American Conference foe Kent State, 10-0, in five innings Friday afternoon at the BSU Softball Complex. Game two was called for inclement weather.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 28-17 overall and 8-3 in league play, while the Golden Flashes fall to 16-22 on the season and 6-3 in the MAC.
Senior right fielder Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) led the Cardinals in the top of the first after she doubled to center field and senior shortstop Alicia Barkley (Oklahoma City, Okla./Putnam City) drew a walk off Kent State's Lauren McNeil. Then, junior catcher Amanda Montalto (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) singled down the right field line to score Collins.
Freshman first baseman Taylor Rager (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) then drew a walk off McNeil. With the bases loaded, Barkley scored on a wild pitch and freshman designated hitter Jennifer Gilbert (McKinney, Texas/McKinney) was hit by a pitch. Then, sophomore left fielder Amanda Carpenter's (Santee, Calif./Santana) single to left field scored Montalto, but Gilbert was called out at second.
Kent State initiated a pitching change after senior third baseman Kate Wilczynski (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro) drew a walk off McNeil. Then, senior center fielder Lisa Rozanski's (Tampa, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) sacrifice fly out to right field drove in Rager and junior second baseman Alison Mercado (Perris, Calif./Arizona Western) singled to center field to score Carpenter and Wilczynski.
Ball State added one more in the bottom of the third as Wilczynski's sacrifice bunt scored Gilbert, who got on base after doubling to left center field and advancing to third on Carpenter's at-bat, a ground-out to first base, to put the Cardinals up 7-0.
The hot bats continued in the fourth as pinch hitter Audrey Bickel (Munster, Ind./Andrean) drew a walk off Kent State's Danielle Abernathy. Re-entering the contest, Mercado stole second and advanced to third on an error by the Golden Flashes' shortstop, Mary Holt, followed by Collins drawing a walk off Abernathy. With two in scoring position, Montalto doubled to left field to drive in Mercado and Collins and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Gilbert then singled up the middle to score Montalto.
Ball State kept Kent State at bay into the fifth inning to secure the run rule and win the contest. Montalto continued her stellar streak at the plate after going 2-for-3 and driving in three runs, while Gilbert tallied a perfect two hits in two appearances and one RBI.
Sophomore pitcher Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) had a phenomenal day from the circle, improving to 15-10 with the win. Sanders allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight Golden Flashes in five innings of work. McNeil tallied the loss on the mound after 0.1 innings of work, giving up six runs, allowing three hits and walking three. McNeil and Abernathy did not tally a single Cardinal strikeout on the day.
Head coach Craig Nicholson and the Cardinals return to the field Saturday starting at 2 p.m. for a contest versus the Buffalo Bulls.
Eastern Michigan 6, Akron 4
AKRON, Ohio (EMUeagles.com) - A three-run, two-out, bases-clearing double off the bat of sophomore Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) lifted the Eastern Michigan University softball team past Akron University this afternoon, April 22, as the Eagles took a 6-4 victory to improve to 22-11 overall and an 8-5 mark in Mid-American Conference play.
Akron falls to 18-20 overall and 2-9 in conference games.
The Eagles battled back from a late one-run deficit to take a 6-4 victory thanks to timely hitting by the EMU offense.
McKenna Russ (North Canton, Ohio-Hoover) and Jessica Richards (Canton, Ohio-Jackson) each tallied multi-hit games in the contest, but it was Coquillard's two-out, three-run double in the sixth that helped seal the Eagles' come-from-behind victory.
Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) got the start for the Green and White and went three hitless innings, but a four-run fifth led the Eagles to call in righty hurler Jaclyn Caro (Chino, Calif.-St. Lucy's Priory). The senior went three innings while striking out two and gave up just one hit to pick up the win and improve to 2-5 on the year.
The Eagles set the tone early in the top of the first after taking a 1-0 lead on two hits despite leaving three runners on base.
Stacie Skodinski (South Bend, Ind.-Washington) hit a one-out double to center field for the Green and White's first of eight hits in the contest. Coquillard and Sarah Gerber (North Canton, Ohio-Hoover) drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Russ. The junior came through with a one-run single to center field to push EMU ahead, 1-0.
The Eagles shut down any attempts to retaliate in the bottom of the frame by retiring three-consecutive Akron batters on two routine ground ball outs and a fly out to Richards at the hot corner.
In the fourth, the Green and White drove in another run to take a 2-0 advantage over the home team.
Kaylee Tolliver (Amanda, Ohio-Clearcreek) started the rally with a leadoff double to left and was relieved by Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Central Catholic) who checked in to pinch run. Allison Scherer (Stow, Ohio-Stow-Munroe) laid down a textbook bunt to advance Nicholson to second base, leaving Lauren Delapaz (Plymouth, Mich.-Canton) due up at the plate. The senior delivered with an RBI single to the opposite field and put the Eagles up another run.
Ignowski maintained a no-hit performance until Akron's Alex Feltes registered the Zips first hit in the game in the fourth, however the Eagles managed to escape the inning unharmed.
Skodinski led off the fifth with a walk and advanced to third after a stolen base and a passed ball. With two outs, Russ drove a triple off of the right center field fence to swell the Eagles' lead to three.
After a quiet four innings, the Zips offense came alive in the fifth with four hits and four runs to take their first lead of the ballgame. Back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt placed runners at second and third for Sarah Stromack, who then hit a two-run double to left center field and bring the Zips within one run. With a runner at third and two outs, Feltes drove a pitch over the left field fence and push the Zips ahead, 4-3.
Caro checked into the contest to take over pitching duties for the Eagles and managed to catch Akron's Olivia Hegadus looking at the plate to get the Green and White out of the inning.
EMU then used clutch two-out hitting to repossess the lead in the top of the sixth. Scherer led off the frame and was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch. The junior would eventually advance to third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt by Delapaz.
With a runner at third, the EMU coaching staff swapped speed for power at the plate by pinch hitting Amanda Stanton (Homer Glen, Ill.-Lockport Township) for Lindsay Smith (Seville, Ohio-Cloverleaf). Scherer took off for home on Stanton's ground ball to second base but was tagged out on a close play at the plate for the second out of the inning.
A single by Richards kept the inning alive and put runners at first and second for Skodinski. The senior shortstop drew a walk to set up a bases loaded situation for Coquillard. Coquillard, who has held a perfect 2-for-2 average this season with the bases juiced, would improve to 3-for-3 in that situation thanks to her bases-clearing double to center field to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead.
Neither team managed to plate runs throughout the remainder of the contest, as the Green and White took game one from the Zips by a final score of 6-4.
Today's matchup was originally scheduled for a doubleheader, but poor weather conditions forced game two to be cancelled. No make-up game will be scheduled.
The Eagles will now trek to Athens, Ohio to take on the Bobcats of Ohio University for single games slated for Saturday and Sunday. First pitch for tomorrow's contest is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
Northern Illinois 4, Bowling Green 3
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team edged out Bowling Green, 4-3, Friday afternoon at Mary M. Bell Field.
With the score tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln) blasted a solo home run over the left field to break the tie and give the Huskies (19-19, 9-3) a 4-3 lead. Her only hit of the game in her final at bat, Tofft extended her school record hitting streak to 28 games.
Tofft, who started the game in left, came in to pitch the top of the fifth in relief of Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins), threw a scoreless 1-2-3 inning before hitting the home run. She allowed one hit in three innings of work to pick up the win. Tofft also went 1-for-1 with two walks and three runs scored.
"Steph did a great job," NIU head coach Lindsay Chouinard said. "She came up with the game-winning hit and closed the game for her first conference win. She did it all today.
"Steph is the ultimate utility. She loves to be all over the field and she's a team player. She wants to do whatever her team needs of her.It's beautiful to see her rewarded for that."
Northern Illinois had two homers on the day. The first was a two-run shot by Dani Parrish (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) in the bottom of the third. With the Huskies trailing, 2-1, and Tofft on first, Parrish deposited the Erin Greenwalt pitch over the left field fence to give NIU a 3-2 lead. BGSU (7-25, 1-10) tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the fourth.
Game Two was called due to unplayable conditions in the middle of the fifth inning with the Huskies trailing 11-5.
Northern Illinois is back in action Saturday when the Huskies welcome Toledo for a weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
Ohio 4, Central Michigan 2
Central Michigan 4, Ohio 3
ATHENS, Ohio - Senior Melissa Bonner (Kings Mills, Ohio) capped a 3-for-3 game at the plate with the game-winning two-run home run in the sixth inning of game one of a Mid-American Conference (MAC) doubleheader against Central Michigan on Friday. The Bobcats took game one 4-2, before they lost the second game of the twinbill 4-3 in eight innings.
Bonner finished the first game with two RBIs and two runs scored. Classmate Emily Wethington (New Palestine, Ind.) finished the doubleheader 4-for-6 with three RBIs and a run scored. Wethington also went 1-1 in the circle on the day with nine strikeouts, including eight in a game one victory.
After Central Michigan (24-15, 9-5 MAC) scored two runs in the top of the first in game one, Ohio halved the lead in the bottom of the frame. Bonner and Wethington teamed up with back-to-back two-out hits to get on the board. After Bonner singled down the right field line, Wethington doubled to left field. Bonner was running on the play as the count to Wethington was full. Following the first inning of play the Chippewas led 2-1.
Central Michigan batted in the top of the second, and during the middle of the second a 45 minute rain delay stopped play at the Ohio Softball Field.
The Bobcats trailed by one run until Bonner hit her fourth home run of the season over the right field fence in the sixth. Senior Paige Kemezis (Hackensack, N.J.) singled up the middle one batter prior. Ohio's (16-19, 5-6 MAC) final run was scored on a fielding error. Freshman Alyssa Wolfe (Junction City, Ohio) crossed the plate and was running for Wethington. The tally made the score 4-2.
In the second game, Ohio led 3-0 after two innings and used the long ball to build its lead again. After Wethington singled up the middle, Wolfe pinch ran and scored on a squeeze bunt by freshman Raven King (Alpine, Utah). In the third with Alexis Joseph (Alvin, Texas) on third, Wethington drove a 3-1 pitch from Kari Seddon over the left field fence.
Bonner kept the Chippewas off the board for the first six innings. She work out of jams with two on in the first, third and sixth innings.
However, in the seventh, Central Michigan scored three runs on an RBI single by Brittini Merchant and a two-RBI double by Danielle Cabrera. After the Bobcats went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, the Chippewas took a 4-3 lead in the eighth when a Summer Knoop sacrifice fly to left field scored Amanda Klosterman.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ohio loaded the bases with one out. Senior Sara Clark (Ontario, Calif.) singled and King and Alexandria Basquez (Elk Grove, Calif.) both drew walks. The threat would end when Brooke Morgart (Wayne, Ohio) lined out to third and sophomore Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.) struck out swinging to end the game in a pinch hit appearance.
Wethington suffered the loss in game two. She pitched the eighth inning in the game. Wethington is now 13-8 after she won game one as well.
Ohio will open a two-game series with the Eastern Michigan Eagles this weekend. The set begins Saturday, April 23, at 2 p.m.
Buffalo 5, Miami 3
Miami 3, Buffalo 2
OXFORD, Ohio - A dramatic bottom of the seventh walk-off home run by junior Daniela Torres led Miami to a split of its doubleheader with Buffalo on Friday afternoon. The RedHawks won the nightcap by a 3-2 score after dropping the opener, 5-3, in eight innings. Miami is now 22-18 overall and 5-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls are 10-27 overall and 5-5 in the MAC.
There had not been much hitting in the second game until the seventh inning. The only scoring had been a two-run home run in the top of the second off of starter Katie Osburn. Besides that blast, Osburn kept the Bulls in check the rest of the game, giving up only a total of five hits over seven innings to earn her second victory.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Kathryn Russette led off the frame with a double to right center. Brandi Hernandez came in to pinch-run for her. Jordan McElroy was able to slide a ball under the shortstop's glove and into left field, which brought home Hernandez and made it 2-1. The next two RedHawk batters then popped up, which brought up Torres. Torres slammed an off-speed pitch over the right field wall to give Miami the dramatic 3-2 win.
Torres finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. Russette was 2-for-3.
Miami struck first in the opener with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Russette led off the frame with a double to left center. Kayla Ledbetter was hit by a pitch and Kristy Arbour was able to bunt to load the bases with no one out. Torres followed by drawing a walk to force home the game's first run.
Buffalo scored three runs in the top of the fourth off of starter Jessica Simpson. Miami answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Allie Larrabee led off with her first career home run, a solo shot over the right center field wall that made it 3-2. Meghan Mawn followed with a single through the right side. She was moved over to second base by a McElroy bunt and brought home by a Russette double to left center.
The game remained tied at three until the top of the eighth inning. The Bulls led off the frame with a Lindsey Hampton triple down the left field line. Holly Luciano would bring her home with a single through the left side. Two RedHawk fielding errors would eventually allow another Buffalo run to come home. In the bottom of the eighth, Torres would lead off with a walk, but Miami would be unable to bring home another run.
Torres finished the second game 1-for-2 with one RBI and three walks. Russette was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Arbour was 3-for-4. Simpson pitched a complete game in the loss, giving up four earned runs on six hits in eight innings pitched. She struck out five.
Miami returns to action when it hosts Kent State on Saturday at 2 p.m.