Friday's MAC Softball Results

Updated 4/2/2011
Northern Illinois 8, Eastern Michigan 6
Eastern Michigan 10, Northern Illinois 1
DEKALB, Ill. (EMUEagles.com) - Untimely errors cost the Eastern Michigan University softball team game one of their Mid-American Conference doubleheader at Northern Illinois University, but a ten-run offensive outing helped capture the night cap to split with the Huskies this afternoon, April 1, at Mary M. Bell field in DeKalb, Ill.

EMU dropped game one, 8-6, but managed to turn things around in the game two, outscoring the Huskies 10-1 in six innings.

The Eagles move to 14-5 overall, with an even 1-1 mark in the MAC. The Huskies are now 11-15 on the season (1-1 MAC).

The EMU offense provided plenty of run support in the opening contest, scoring six runs on 12 hits through seven innings, but four errors plagued the Green and White as they contributed to five unearned runs in the Eagles 8-6 loss to the Huskies.

Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) gave up three earned runs in the loss, dropping to 8-2 on the year. The sophomore struck out six while walking two of 26 batters faced.

Sarah Gerber (North Canton, Ohio-Hoover) was 3-for-3 in the game, while McKenna Russ (North Canton, Ohio-Hoover) went 3-for-4 for Green and White.

Russ tied an NCAA Division I record after her second hit in the game, as it was her 11th consecutive hit in 11 at bats. Her efforts tie her for third with former Florida Gator, Lindsey Cameron, who strung together 11 consecutive hits from March 19-25 of the 2005 season.

The Eagles fell into an early three run deficit after an error and four NIU hits in the bottom of the first. After a fielder's choice and back-to-back singles, the Huskies loaded the bases and took the lead on a Wulbecker walk. The home team managed to string together two more singles that posted two more runs on the board for an early 3-0 lead.

EMU responded in the top of the second inning, scoring one run on three hits. Singles from Gerber and Russ placed runners at first and second, setting up a two out, RBI single for Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles).

The Huskies reclaimed their three run lead in the bottom of the same frame. Andrea Colosimo singled to right, and a Stephanie Tofft double to left center waved her around to plate another NIU run, setting the score at 4-1.

Four EMU hits helped generate another run in the third, cutting the Huskies' lead to two. Jessica Richards (Canton, Ohio-Jackson) led off the inning with a single through the left side, but was later called out for leaving early at first base.

Stacie Skodinski (South Bend, Ind.-Washington) increased her hit streak to eight games with a single to shortstop and advanced to second on a past ball.

The Huskies were then charged with their first error of the game after NIU's Nicole Gremillion mishandled Gerber's single to left field, giving Skodinski the opportunity to come around and score the Eagles second run of the ball game.

Entering the sixth inning, the Huskies held a 5-2 lead over EMU until Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Catholic Central) drove a two-run shot over the right field fence to bring the Eagles within one.
More miscues in the sixth allowed the Huskies to take an 8-4 lead.

EMU showed fight in the seventh, starting with a two out, solo shot from Skodinski to cut the deficit to three. The home run was the senior's fourth in four games, as she has hit a long ball in six of the Eagles last eight contests.

Following Skodinski's homer to left, Gerber and Russ posted singles of their own, placing EMU runners at first and second. Kaylee Tolliver (Amanda, Ohio-Clearcreek) came off the bench and executed a pinch hit, RBI single up the middle to bring the game within two, but NIU ended the threat and secured the win.

The Eagles pulled it together defensively in the night cap with a perfect, error free performance in the field. Offensively, they hammered out 11 hits, with three players posting multiple-hit performances.

Russ led EMU with a 2-for-2 effort at the dish, scoring three times and knocking in two after hitting her fifth home in four game. In her past 15 at bats, the junior has registered 14 hits to string together four consecutive multiple-hit contests.

The Eagles were first to strike in game two. In the top of the second, Russ doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a single by Tolliver.

With runners at the corners, Coquillard singled to center field to plate Russ and put the Eagles up, 1-0.

A single from Richards loaded the bases for Lauren Delapaz (Plymouth, Mich.-Canton). The senior drilled a two-RBI single up the middle before getting picked off trying to advance to second on the play.

NIU's Adriana Sanchez homered in the bottom of the first, but Lauren Wells (Lowell, Ind.-Lowell) regained control of the inning by striking out two and forced a line out to get out of the inning.

Russ hit her fifth home run of the week in the third inning, increasing the Eagles lead to three.

After two scoreless innings, Eastern Michigan put six runs on the board in the top of the sixth. Russ started the rally as she drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. She was eventually waved around to score from second on a Nicholson double to right field.

Tolliver singled for her second hit of the game to put runners on the corners for EMU.
A one-out double by Coquillard knocked in two more for the Eagles, swelling the Green and White's lead to five.

With runners in scoring position, EMU swapped speed for power, as Allison Scherer (Stow, Ohio-Stow-Munroe) was asked to step to the plate in place of Katy Blaharski (Carleton, Mich.-Airport) with one out. The junior cashed in both runs on a triple to right center field to bring the score to 8-1.

The Eagles added two more runs before taking the game in six innings with a 10-1 final.

With the win, Wells improves to 4-1 on the season. The freshman fanned10 NIU batters and held the Huskies to just one run on four hits. Her 10 strike outs ties her career-high, which she recently recorded on March 26 in the Eagles 3-1 win over Austin Peay State University.

EMU will now head to Kalamazoo, Mich. for single games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with Western Michigan University. Saturday's contest with the Broncos is slated for a 2 p.m. start.

Western Michigan 8, Central Michigan 7
Central Michigan 5, Western Michigan 1
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Facing a 6-4 deficit, senior home run queen Lexi Jager set two career marks, hitting her first career grand slam and giving her five RBIs in a game for the first time in her career. More importantly, the two-out shot over the left center field wall put WMU in front, 8-6, with the Broncos holding on for an 8-7 win over CMU. Western Michigan fell in the second game, 5-1.

The Broncos entered the bottom of the sixth inning down by two runs after Central Michigan took a 6-4 advantage in the top of the frame. Michelle Bendewald started things off with a base on balls. Meredith Whitney, 2-for-2 during the game, singled up the middle and was followed by a Courtney Rousseau single through the left side, setting the table for Jager.

The Kalamazoo native took a ball and then fouled off the next three pitches. After another ball and another foul ball, Jager launched the 2-2 pitch, sending it into the parking lot and sending the Broncos into the lead for the first time in the game.

CMU opened the game by scoring a pair in the top of the first and just like in the Broncos' win againts Notre Dame, Tara Buchanan hit a home run with Jager on the base path. This shot, her third of the year, tied the score at two runs apiece.

The Chippewas plated three more runs in the top of the third inning, putting WMU down, 5-2. Whitney doubled for the first time this season. Jager, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate in the first game, doubled down the left field line for the first of her five RBIs on the day, scoring Whitney.

Gracie Barstad was a monster at the plate on Friday, going 4-for-6 during the two games, including 3-for-4 in the first game. Rousseau added her second double of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning. She advanced to third on the throw but that throw was to home plate where Whitney was tagged out on a throw from left field to third base to the catcher to end the inning.

CMU made it very interesting in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two and cutting the Bronco lead to just one run but Kayla Houston was up to the task once again. Houston struck out Ashley Gilson on seven pitches to preserve the win, earning the complete game victory with three strikeouts.

In the second game, CMU scored in the first on a bases loaded walk and three more times in the top of the fifth. WMU's lone run also came on a bases loaded walk for Myranda McDonald. McDonald worked the count full during an active at bat, fouling off five pitches.


Ball State 7, Ohio 6
Ball State 12, Ohio 3
ATHENS, Ohio- The Ball State University softball team improved to 21-13 overall and 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference after taking both games of the doubleheader at Ohio University (11-15, 0-2 MAC) Friday afternoon at the Ohio Softball Field.

The Cardinals won the first game 7-6 in extra innings then went on to defeat the Bobcats 12-3 in the second contest.

In the first game, Alicia Barkley led the Cardinals in the top of the fourth after she singled to left field to get on base. Taylor Rager was then patient at the plate advancing to first on a walk. The Cardinals had one out when Amanda Montalto brought Barkley home off of a sacrifice fly given Ball State the 1-0 edge over the Bobcats after three scoreless innings. Katrina Morales added another run off an Ohio error before the end of the inning putting the Cardinals up 2-0.

The Bobcats put a run on the board in the bottom of the fourth after a solo homerun from Alexis Joseph. With two outs and the tying run in scoring position, pitcher Audra Sanders got the Cardinals out of the inning striking out the last batter.

In the bottom of the fifth the Bobcats knotted the game at 2-2 after an RBI single from Joseph.

Ball State added a run in the top of the sixth after Rager scored off a sacrifice fly from Lisa Rozanski but the Bobcats answered back in their at bat leading off the inning with a solo homerun.

Tied 3-3 the Cardinals headed into extra innings with Amanda Carpenter's single up the middle followed by a Montalto double to left center which brought Carpenter home. Some Ohio errors accompanied by another single from Alyssa Collins allowed the Cardinals to cross the plate three more times. The Bobcats had a three run homer to start the bottom of the inning off but with two outs Sanders was able to strikeout the last batter to win the game for the Cardinals.

Sanders recorded the win for BSU after 8.0 innings of work she gave up six runs while striking out eight batters improving to 12-7 on the season. Melissa Bonner suffered the loss for Ohio on the mound after 0.2 innings of work.

In the second game with bases loaded in the top of the first Rager hit a grand slam followed by back-to-back doubles from Montalto and Carpenter to put the Cardinals up 5-0. The homerun was Rager's fourth of the season.

BSU added two more in the second inning after Rager sinlged up the middle bringing home Barkley who reached on a fielders' choice and Collins who had got on base due to a single at the start of the inning.

The hot bats kept coming in the third after a single from Collins, a double from Mercado and a two run homer from Barkley which resulted in BSU taking a 10-0 advantage over OU. Barkley's homerun was the first of her career for the senior shortstop.

The Cardinals scored two more in the fourth to secure the run rule after the fifth inning winning the game 12-3. Kim Mazzapica improved to 3-1 on the mound with the win after 5.0 innings of work.

The Ball State softball team continues MAC action when it travels to Akron Saturday. First pitch is at 2 p.m.

Miami 4, Akron 0
Akron 3, Miami 0
AKRON, Ohio - To open Mid-American Conference play, The University of Akron softball team split Friday's doubleheader with Miami at Lee Jackson Field, dropping the first game 4-0 and bouncing back to claim the second game 3-0. The Zips move to 13-10 on the season and 1-1 in the MAC, while Miami is now 15-11 and 1-1.

The first contest was scoreless until the fourth inning, when the RedHawks plated one run on two hits, including an RBI double by Daniela Torres. The game then got away from the Zips in the sixth, as fielding errors proved costly and Miami scored three runs on four hits. It could have been worse, but UA was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam by getting the final two batters to line out and ground out.

Akron managed only two hits off Miami's Jessica Simpson, while the RedHawks recorded eight. Heather Bauer threw 5.1 innings for the Zips and struck out three without allowing a walk. Only two of MU's runs were earned and she falls to 5-5 on the season.

In the second game, Akron wasted no time in taking the lead with a three-run first inning off four hits. Katie Gross started the scoring with a double to center field, and Alissa Birkhimer followed her with a single. During the next at-bat, Birkhimer attempted to steal second and Gross scored on the play for the Zips' first run. Bauer added a double to left center that brought home Birkhimer, and Sarah Earley also knocked a double that plated Bauer for what proved to be the final run of the game.

The RedHawks recorded three hits in the fourth, all singles, but could not bring a run home. They rallied again in the fifth, as errors again plagued the Zips, but no damage was done as UA got out of the bases-loaded situation without allowing a run. They closed out the game allowing only one more hit to get the win.

Each team notched five hits, and Alex Riedeman earned the complete game shutout for Akron, improving to 5-3 for the year. Simpson took the loss for Miami, falling to 13-7 on the season.

The Zips will be back in action Saturday, April 2 as they play host to Ball State at Lee Jackson Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET.


Toledo 6, Buffalo 2
Buffalo 5, Toledo 4
TOLEDO, OH - The University of Toledo softball team split a pair of games against the visiting Buffalo Bulls on the opening weekend of Mid-American Conference play. The Rockets took the opening contest 6-2 behind the brilliant pitching of freshman Jen Solanics , while a last-inning rally fell short in Game Two's 5-4 defeat.

Solanics tossed her fifth complete game of the season to earn the win in Game One. In 7.0 innings, she scattered 10 hits and allowed two runs while matching a season-high with four punchouts.

"It was great to come out and get our first home and conference win," said Solanics. "The defense made some big plays and our bats came alive, and I can't wait to roll Rocket softball into the rest of the season."

The Rockets (5-20; 1-1 MAC) struck first in the opening contest. Freshman shortstop Lani Ernst blasted her first career home run, a solo shot over the left field wall in the bottom of the second to give Toledo an early lead.

After Buffalo tied things up in the top of the third, the Rockets struck for two more in the bottom frame. Freshman third baseman Mandy Augerson led off the inning with a single to right and was quickly brought home on an RBI-single by junior center fielder Brooke Gates . Later in the inning, sophomore designated hitter Erinn Wright continued her string of hot hitting with an RBI single of her own.

The Rockets piled it on in their next at-bat, plating three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Following consecutive singles by junior first baseman Jillian Spink and Ernst, freshman catcher Alyssa Foy poked a single through to score Spink. Ernst came home on Gates' second RBI-single in as many innings, and Foy was plated on an RBI-groundout by sophomore second baseman Becki Heimbigner to push the advantage to 6-1.

The Bulls plated one more run in the top of the sixth, and threatened with two runners in the seventh, but Solancis coaxed a double play to close out the complete-game victory, 6-2.

Game Two was a wire-to-wire battle as both teams jockeyed for the lead throughout the contest.

The Bulls gained the first lead of the game with a solo round-tripper in the opening frame. After a scoreless second inning, UB added an RBI-double in the top of the third to push ahead 2-0.

But the Rockets battled back in their half of the third, led by Wright who pushed her hit streak to six games with an RBI-single that cut the lead in half. The Rockets threatened in the fourth as well, loading the bases with one out, but were unable to push the tying run across.

Continuing to battle back, Toledo knotted up the game in the bottom of the fifth. After Wright doubled to right field, sophomore right fielder Lindsey Tobias roped a double of her own to bring home Wright and knot the score at 2-2.

Both teams made a final push in the seventh frame, each mounting a multi-run rally. The Bulls utilized a pair of run-scoring singles to tally three runs and claim a 5-2 lead heading into the final at-bat.

Wright began the Rocket rally with a solo home run - her fourth hit of the game - to quickly cut the deficit to two. Tobias followed with a double but the next two batters were retired to leave the Rockets with one out. Foy struck a double to score Tobias, but UT was unable to complete the comeback as they fell 5-4.

"Although it was nice to get that first win on the board and come out strong, we are still searching for that consistency," said Head Coach Tarrah Beyster. "We had our opportunities that second game to walk away with a sweep, but unfortunately we fell short."


Wright finished the day 5-for-7 to continue to raise her average. During her six-game hitting streak, Wright is batting .632, collecting 12 hits in her last 19 at-bats including a home run and five RBI. She now leads the team in hitting with a .338 clip, up from a .241 average just one week ago.

The Rockets will continue MAC play on Saturday as they welcome Kent State for the first of two weekend matchups. First pitch from Scot Park is slated for 2 p.m.


Kent State 10, Bowling Green 1
Kent State 3, Bowling Green 2
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Kent State opened Mid-American Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of Bowling Green Friday at Meserve Field. The Golden Flashes (11-16, 2-0 MAC) put away the Falcons in five innings, with a 10-1 opening game victory and hung on for 3-2 win in game two. Danielle Abernathy earned a win and a save Friday, while every player in the KSU lineup smacked a hit in the opener.


"Danielle pitched really well and our defense did a nice job today," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "We were getting contributions from all different spots, especially in that first game. It was nice to see us get ahead and not let up."


KSU piled up six second-inning runs in the opener and three runs in the third. In her first of two at bats in the second, Shannon Laughlin put the Flashes on the board with a solo home run to right field. Abbey Ledford, Jess Blanton and Alex Marcantonio all had singles in the second, while three others drew walks.


Mary Holt ripped an RBI double into right field to extend the Flashes' lead to 7-0. An infield hit by Holly Finchum brought home another run in the third and a wild pitch scored Holt.


Jess Carmichael led off the fourth inning with her team-leading eighth home run of the year to make it a 10-0 lead. The Falcons only run came in the bottom of the fourth, following an infield error.


Abernathy tossed all five innings in her fifth win of the season and did not allow an earned run. Three of her five hits allowed came in the third, but Blanton gunned down the first base runner of the inning on a steal attempt.


Lauren Grimes led off the game with a walk and moved to third on a single by Marcantonio. Later in the inning, a two-out, bases loaded single by Ledford drove in the first two runs of the game.


A two-run homer by Paige Berger evened things up in the third after the Falcons had stranded four runners in the first two frames.


In the bottom of the fifth, a two-out RBI double by Holt grazed off the glove of a diving center fielder and broke a 2-2 tie that gave the Flashes the lead for good.


Freshman pitcher Lauren McNeil got the nod in game two. In her first appearance since March 6, she went six innings to earn her third victory of the year.


"Lauren was a little bit rusty, but looked good overall," Linder said. "She made some very good pitches when she had to. Her strikeout with runners on in the fifth inning was huge."

Abernathy took over to start the seventh and retired the first two batters. However, infield errors on hard hit balls put the next two batters on, before a fly out to left field ended the game.


"Our outfielders as a whole did a really good job of getting reads on fly balls on a windy day," Linder said.


The East Division rivals had split the regular season series in each of the previous three years, but this season Linder earned bragging rights against former KSU assistant and current Bowling Green Head Coach Shannon Salsburg.


"There are a lot of ties between these two teams with players, coaches and parents," Linder said. "A lot of them played summer ball together so it becomes a friendly rivalry that the teams look forward to."


The Golden Flashes will remain in Northwest Ohio for the weekend, taking on Toledo in single games Saturday and Sunday. The Rockets split their conference opening doubleheader against Buffalo.