Story courtsey of Western Michigan Athletics
Akron, Ohio --
Western Michigan needed only six innings to get the first win of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament as the Broncos blanked Toledo, 8-0.
Diana Patterson set the tone early and often for WMU's offense as she belted her fifth home run of the season over the left field wall in the bottom of the second to give WMU a 1-0 lead. She was not done as the junior went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs.
Patterson collected two more RBIs in the Broncos' monster fourth inning on a base hit up the middle to score Gracie Barstad and pinch runner Jenny Rohn. Tara Buchanan, for whom Rohn was running, led off by reaching on an error. Barstad followed with a sacrifice bunt but was safe on a second error.
After Patterson's single, Elisha Handshoe was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jennifer Tschetter, who was 2-for-3, collected a pair of RBIs on a single up the middle. When the dust settled, WMU had a 5-0 lead heading into the fifth.
That was all Meredith Whitney needed as the senior matched her career high for wins in a season with her 17th and registered her 19th career shut out. She had a bid for her second career no-hitter until Leigh Nebendahl broke that up with a single through the left side. It would be one of only two hits allowed by Whitney in the victory.
Whitney fanned nine batters in the game to bring her 2012 total to 210 and career total to 705, making her only the fourth pitcher in MAC history to have 700 in her career. She is now 19 Ks away from passing Marcy Mobley (723) who played for Ball State and Eastern Michigan from 1999-2002.
WMU's offense was not finished as it scored three runs in the home half of the sixth inning to close out the game. Tschetter recorded a one-out single and Whitney followed with a walk, she also hit her 28th career double in the game, which is tied with Yvonne Jenks (1996-99) for fifth all-time at WMU. Christina Pigozzi (1-for-3) singled back to the pitcher and Buchanan (1-for-4) singled through the right side to score WMU's sixth run of the game and load the bases for Barstad. The senior, who was 2-for-2 for the game, collected the Bronco's final two RBIs with 26th career double over left fielder Alyssa Smith's head, ending the game.
Western Michigan now takes on (4) Ohio at 5 p.m. The game will be STEAM LIVE.