Saturday's MAC Softball Results

Updated 5/1/2011
Saturday's MAC Softball Results
Western Michigan 6, Northern Illinois 4
Miami 7, Toledo 1
Eastern Michigan 5, Central Michigan 4
Kent State 9, Ohio 7
Ohio 7, Kent State 3
Bowling Green 7, Ball State 6
Buffalo 6, Akron 4

Western Michigan 6, Northern Illinois 4
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan's Tara Buchanan smashed a three-run walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th to help the Broncos defeat Northern Illinois, 6-4, in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon. WMU had to come from a run down in the seventh and two runs down in the 10th to pick up its eighth-straight home win and seventh-straight victory over all.

The win also moves the Broncos ahead of the Huskies in the Mid-American Conference West Division standings heading into Sunday's series finale.

Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 10th, Michelle Bendewald beat out a ball that dribbled down the first base line to lead off the inning. Meredith Whitney reached on a fielder's choice when NIU second baseman Andrea Colosimo dropped the ball, trying to tag Bendewald on her way to second base. Lexi Jager hit the ball back to the pitcher but Stephanie Tofft threw wide of first base for the Huskies' second error of the inning, allowing Bendewald to score from second base.

Buchanan, entering the at bat 0-for-2 on the day, took a first pitch strike. With the defense playing in, Tofft offered the 0-1 pitch and Buchanan blasted it over the center field wall for her sixth home run of the season and the win. Buchanan's six home runs this year leads the team and are tied for the fourth most in a season in program history.

The two-run deficit WMU faced heading into the home half of the 10th inning was the second time in the game the Broncos had to come back in its last at bat. Entering the bottom of the seventh, the Broncos faced a 2-1 NIU lead after the Huskies plated a run in the sixth and seventh innings.

After a Diana Patterson ground out in the seventh, Kayla Houston doubled down the left field line. Bendewald blooped a ball toward Colosimo at second base but she could not secure the catch, allowing pinch runner Jennifer Tschetter to score, tying the game.

The Broncos took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Jager led off the inning with her fifth home run of the season and 23rd for her career. After fouling several balls off, Jager turned on a 3-2 pitch sending it over the left field wall. The home run ties her with Akron's Kerstin Sewel for sixth on the MAC career list.

Whitney and the Bronco defense was on point on Saturday as the junior worked her 13th complete game of the season, striking out seven Huskies en route to her sixth-straight victory in the circle. Th WMU outfield helped keep NIU to four runs as three potential runs were thrown out at the plate and a fourth was thrown out from second base. NIU stranded 14 runners on th base paths.

The win puts WMU a game ahead of Northern Illinois in the MAC West standings and a half game behind Ball State for the top spot after the Cardinals fell to Bowling Green in 12 innings.

Miami 7, Toledo 1
TOLEDO - Daniela Torres' big day helped the Miami softball team defeated Toledo, 7-1, on Saturday for its 10th win in its last 11 games. The RedHawks improve to 27-18 overall and 10-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets fall to 8-34 overall and 3-12 in the MAC.

Miami opened the scoring early with two runs in the top of the first. Torres led off the frame with a single to left field. Kirstie Fehrenbach moved her up a base with a single through the left side. Both of them moved up on a passed ball. Allie Larrabee then singled through the left side to score Torres. Fehrenbach was out attempting to steal home, but on the play Larrabee moved up to second base. She moved up to third on a Meghan Mawn flyout. Kathryn Russette scored Larrabee with a single up through the left side.

The RedHawks made it 3-0 in the top of the second when Kristy Arbour drove in Jordan McElroy.

After Toledo got a run back in the bottom of the third, Torres put the game away with big hits in both the top of the fourth and top of the sixth innings. In the fourth inning, a double to right center scored Taylor Rice and McElroy to make it 5-1. In the sixth inning, a double to left field scored Arbour and McElroy.

Torres was 3-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored. Larrabee was 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. McElroy was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Jessica Simpson was solid in the circle in earning her 22nd win of the season. She pitched six innings, allowing only one unearned run on five hits. She struck out six. Paige Myers pitched the seventh to complete the win for the RedHawks.

Miami completes its series with Toledo on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Eastern Michigan 5, Central Michigan 4
MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan saw a 4-1 lead turn to a 5-4 loss at Margo Jonker Stadium on Saturday, falling to in-state foe Eastern Michigan.

The Chippewas (25-18, 9-8 MAC) held the lead in the top of the sixth, but the Eagles' (23-12, 9-6 MAC) got a leadoff home run from Sarah Gerber and two-run shot by Kayla Kostich later in the inning to tie the game.

Kara Dornbos came on in relief for Kari Seddon to start the seventh and nearly pitched her way out of a jam, but with runners on first and second with two outs , McKenna Russ reached on an error by Brittney Horan, allowing Jessica Richards to score the game-winning run.

Macy Merchant doubled with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but was forced out at third two batters later and Amanda Patrick grounded out to the second baseman to end the game.

The Chippewas built the lead on solo home runs by Patrick and Seddon in the second and fourth innings, while Summer Knoop also added an RBI single. An EMU error in the fifth allowed Macy Merchant to score from third for CMU's fourth and final run.

Seddon finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBI while also tossing six innings in the circle, giving up four runs on nine hits and walk while striking out six.

Dornbos (10-10) suffered the loss, despite not giving up a hit in her inning of relief. Jaclyn Caro (3-4) earned the win for the Eagles, tossing 3 1/3 innings of relief.

CMU and EMU will conclude the series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

Kent State 9, Ohio 7
Ohio 7, Kent State 3
KENT, Ohio - Kent State's offense continued to coast Saturday until the second inning of game two in a doubleheader split with Ohio at the Diamond at Dix. The Golden Flashes (18-26, 8-7 MAC) pounded five extra base hits in a 9-7 opening game one, before falling 7-3 in game two game two.

Playing for the final time on their home field, the three seniors in Kent State's starting lineup each had two hits in the opener, including Beth Cinadr, who finished the day with two home runs, a double and six runs batted in.

Cinadr sent a three-run homer to opposite field to give the Flashes a 5-2 lead in the first inning of the opener. The Flashes quickly erased a 2-0 deficit when Lauren Grimes and Shannon Laughlin each doubled in the first.

The Bobcats (20-20, 9-7) put up two more runs on three hits in the third, before Lauren McNeil came in to pitch and left the bases loaded. The Flashes gave themselves another cushion with three runs in the fourth.

Senior Holly Finchum's infield single was the first of four KSU hits in the fourth. Classmate Jess Carmichael drove in two runs with a double down the left field line and Cinadr placed an RBI double of her own down the left field line.

"I think Beth has been our most consistent hitter over the last two months," Head Coach Karen Linder said. "She's been very relaxed at the plate."

Ohio refused to go away, scoring three runs on three hits in the fifth, taking the lead back down to one (8-7). Mary Holt singled and scored in the bottom of the fifth and made a key defensive play at shortstop in the sixth. With a runner on second and a hit heading up the middle, Holt made a diving stop, popped back up to her feet and fired home for an out.

McNeil finished out the game, throwing 4.1 innings of relief for the win.

Game two appeared to be more of the same for the Flashes offense in the first inning. Cinadr put a two-run blast over the scoreboard to give KSU an early 3-0 lead. However, Ohio starter Emily Wethington did not allow a run the rest of the game. Wethington did not even make it out of the first inning of game one, but fanned 10 batetrs in game two.

"I was disappointed in our pitch selection in that second game," Linder said. We were swinging at stuff in the dirt and up by our eyes and looking at good pitches early in the count. She controlled us after the first inning."

Senior Markie Pozzuto was solid in her first four innings, allowing two runs, which came on a home run to center by Melissa Bonner. Bonner also singled during Ohio's two-run fourth and sent a two-run homer to center in the Bobcats' three-run sixth.

In its first 19 innings of the weekend KSU totaled 31 runs on 38 hits. But the Flashes were held scoreless in their final six frames on Saturday.

Alex Marcantonio reached base six times in eight plate appearances with three hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.

Still in the hunt for a MAC East title, the Golden Flashes will close out their regular season next weekend with a doubleheader at Central Michigan Friday (May 6) and single games at Eastern Michigan (May 7-8).

Bowling Green 7, Ball State 6
Bowling Green, Ohio - Freshman Erika Stratton became the first player in Bowling Green softball history to hit three home runs in one game, sparking the Falcons to a stunning 7-6 win over Mid-American Conference leader Ball State Saturday afternoon in 12 innings. Bowling Green battled back from a five-run deficit to win the wild affair.

Amazingly, Stratton did not hit even one home run in the first 38 games of the season. She added a double as well for 14 total bases, just two shy of the NCAA Division I record. Entering the 2011 season, there had been just two four home-run games and 49 three home-run games in NCAA Division I history. It is just the 15th multi-homer game in BGSU softball history and the first since teammate Paige Berger blasted two bombs at No. 24 Notre Dame on April 12.

The effort overshadowed an impressive pitching performance by Melissa Bott, who came on in relief to throw the final 9 2/3 innings. She scattered 11 hits against arguably the best offensive team in the MAC, giving up just one earned run and striking out three batters. She forced Ball State to line into three double plays, all coming in the seventh inning or later.

It appeared Ball State might end the game early as the Cardinals hit two-run homers in the second and third innings and led 5-0 heading into the bottom of the third. But that's when Stratton went to work. She opened that frame with a home run to left field, the first of her career.

At the time, the home run seemed harmless enough as Ball State's offense seemed to be in rhythm and the Falcons still trailed by four runs. But Melissa Bott faced just three batters in the top of the fourth and Bowling Green continued the comeback in the bottom of the frame.

Berger singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a passed ball. Katie Yoho had a one-out bunt single and Melissa West pushed Berger home with a sacrifice bunt. Zada Lines then reached on an error which scored Yoho to make it 5-3.

In the top of the fifth, Ball State put together three hits but Lindsey Arney threw out a runner at the plate to keep the Cardinals off the board. In the bottom of the inning, Bowling Green kept the offense going as Hannah Fulk singled to center field to lead off. Rachel Proehl then had an infield single and the runners moved up on a passed ball. Andrea Arney's single to shortstop drove in Fulk to cut the deficit to one.

Bott worked around an error in the top of the sixth and Stratton came up big in the bottom of the inning, tying the game with a one-out home run, her second of the contest, that made it 5-5.

Bott issued a one-out walk in the top of the seventh but Taylor Rager lined into a double play to end the threat. The Falcons were unable to score in the bottom of the inning, sending the contest to extra innings.

Ball State broke the tie in the top of the eighth on an Alison Mercado RBI single but Bott limited the damage by inducing a ground out with the bases loaded. That proved to be important as the Falcons attempted to rally from just one-run down.

In the bottom of the inning, Adrienne Dick took a one-out walk and Stratton once more found a pitch to hit, ripping a double into the left center gap. Lindsay Arney singled through the left side of the infield to tie it once more.

Over the next four innings, both teams squandered opportunities to score as Ball State lined into two double plays and had a player thrown out at the plate in the top of the 10th. Bowling Green wasted two hits in the ninth and appeared to waste another chance in the bottom of the 12th when Lines lined into a double play after West had led off the inning with a single. But Stratton took a 1-2 pitch and drove it over the right center field wall for the walk-off homer, her third of the contest.

Ball State outhit Bowling Green 15-14 in the game and each team had two errors. Stratton was the only player on either team with four hits, finishing 4-for-5, scoring three runs and driving in three. Proehl, Berger, and Andrea Arney all had two hits for the Falcons.

With the loss, Ball State falls to 32-18 overall and 12-4 in conference play. Bowling Green improves to 8-31 overall and 2-14 in league action. The two teams will tangle once more Sunday with a 1 p.m. start at Meserve Softball Field in Bowling Green.

Buffalo 6, Akron 4
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo softball team overcame an early deficit to take the opening game of a two-game series with Akron, 6-4. The victory is UB's 11th of the season and improves them to 6-9 in the MAC.

The Zips got out to the early lead on Saturday afternoon as Allison Dorr hit a three-run home run to left field with two outs. The Bulls got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Holly Luciano and Ashley Bertot each hit infield singles and executed a double steal to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Junior Kristin Waldron drove in the first run of the game as she hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Bulls used a solid defensive performance over the second and third innings to keep things at 3-1 heading into the bottom of the third. Freshman Tori Pettine laid out to catch a sinking bunt in foul territory in the second and UB turned a double play on a line drive to the pitcher in the third. Senior Lindsay Hampton began the bottom of the third with an infield single and advanced to second on a single by Luciano. Both runners moved up on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from Bertot and both would come in to score on a single up the middle from Waldron. The junior would go on to steal second and was driven in on a double from Pettine to put the Bulls up 4-3.

The Bulls added to their lead in the fourth, staging a two-out rally. Sophomore Andi Saucier began it with a single to left field and Hampton continued her solid day with a single up the middle. Both runs came home on a double to center field by Luciano.

The Zips scored one run in the top of the fifth, but that is as close as they would get as the Bulls retired seven of the last eight Akron batters. Junior Holly Johnson pitched six stellar innings to pick up her sixth win of the season. She struck out seven batters, while walking just one. Freshman Tori Speckman came in to pitch a perfect seventh inning for her first career save.

Two Bulls were perfect from the plate as Luciano went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Hampton went 2-for-2, scoring both times that she reached base. Waldron had another three runs batted in and has now had a hit in 13 of UB's last 14 games. Six different UB players registered hits on the afternoon.

UB will be back in action tomorrow to wrap up its two-game series with Akron. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm. Prior to the game, UB will recognize seniors Lindsay Hampton, Candice Sheehan, Kelly Cummings, Kate Kraus and Alexandria Bejarano.