Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - - The Ball State (19-11) softball team split a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader at IPFW (13-7), taking the first game by a score of 3-1 before losing the nightcap 3-1.
Junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert turned in another strong offensive outing in the twin bill, going 3-for-4 over the two games and drawing four walks. She scored one run on the day and raised her Mid-American Conference-leading batting average to .495.
In addition to Gilbert, both sophomore designated player/right fielder Loren Cihlar and junior first baseman Taylor Rager added three hits on the day. Cihlar went 3-for-6 over the two games, while Rager was 3-for-7 and also drew a walk.
Perhaps the biggest hit of the day came off the bat of pinch hitter Lauren Schroeder in the opener when she laced a two-out, two-run single up the middle to drive in what proved to be the game-winning run in the contest.
In the opening game, redshirt junior Audra Sanders earned her third consecutive victory to improve to 6-2 in the circle this season by limiting the Mastodons to just two hits and no runs over 6.0 innings of work. She also struck out five batters while issuing just one walk.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Steinbach was also credited with her third save of the season in the game, by holding the Mastodons to no hits and one run over the final inning.
The Ball State softball team returns to action Friday, when it finally opens its 2013 home schedule by hosting Northern Illinois for a 1 p.m. MAC doubleheader at the BSU Softball Complex.
GAME 1 RECAP: Ball State 3 – IPFW 1
With two of the nation’s top offenses squaring off at the IPFW Softball Field in 19th-ranked Ball State (.324) and 23rd-ranked IPFW (.322), no one would have thought going into Wednesday’s doubleheader that pitching would be the top story. However, the teams found themselves in a pitcher’s duel early on in the opening contest.
Sanders kept the IPFW offense at bay for the first six innings, limiting the hosts to just two hits and one walk.
Ball State was able to capitalize on her effort in the top of the fourth thanks to a two-out rally. Senior catcher Sadie Robertson sparked the Cardinals with a two-out single to center field, while freshman shortstop Selena Reyna was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on.
After Cihlar recorded an infield single to load the bases, Schroeder sliced a 0-2 pitch up the middle to plate junior pinch runner Julie Cortez and Reyna.
The Cardinals maintained the 2-0 lead until the top of the seventh when they added an insurance run on a two-out RBI infield single from Rager. Sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox scored on the play after a nine-pitch infield single of her own.
IPFW’s Dani Pugh opened the bottom of the seventh with a walk, and advanced to second on a groundout and to third on a wild pitch. Another infield groundout from Audrey Mintari would bring her home making the score 3-1, but Steinbach answered by striking out the game’s final batter swinging.
Despite limiting the Ball State offense to just six hits and three runs, Miranda Kramer picked up the loss for the Mastodons to fall to 7-4 on the year. She would also strikeout nine batters while issuing four walks, including three to Gilbert.
GAME 2 RECAP: IPFW 3 – Ball State 1
The strong pitching performances carried over into the second game, with another pitcher’s duel in the works.
IPFW would tally the game’s first run thanks to a two-out solo home run from Hilary Kartman in the bottom of the second inning.
The Mastodons scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, extending their advantage to 3-0 in the contest. After Kartman drew a walk to open the inning, back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Larissa Franklin and Kayti Hanson gave the hosts a pair of pivotal runs.
The Cardinals tried to rally in the top of the sixth, as Gilbert led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a Rager infield single. A third consecutive hit from Carpenter drove in BSU’s lone run of the game. Ball State would eventually strand runners at second and third to end the inning and their comeback threat.
Ball State would put runners at first and second with two outs in the seventh inning, on a Cihlar infield single and a walk to Gilbert, but a groundout to second ended the game.
Megan Flenniken picked up the win for the IPFW, improving to 5-3 on the year after yielding just seven hits and one earned run. She also struck out eight BSU batters while issuing just two walks.
Freshman Kelsey Schifferdecker suffered the loss in the circle for Ball State, falling to 6-2 on the year despite limiting the Mastodons to six hits and three earned runs over 4.2 innings of work. She would strikeout three batters.
Mount Pleasant, Mich.- Central Michigan opened its home schedule Wednesday, April 3, with two victories over Detroit. The Chippewas offense proved to be too much for the Titans, winning game one, 9-1, and game two, 13-3. Junior Cory Delamielleure finished the day with a cycle, hitting a single, double, two triples, and a homerun over the two games.
Central Michigan took control of game one in the second inning, putting up three runs to extend its lead to 4-0 over Detroit. Sophomore Trista Cox started the inning with a single to right, and stole second to move into scoring position. Senior Brogan Darwin put a second runner on base after being hit by a pitch. A Detroit error allowed for the two base runners to score, making it 3-0 with no outs. A groundout by Summer Knoop accounted for the Chippewas first out, but allowed Britteny Horan to score.
Vanessa Garcia opened the top of the third for the Titans with a double, and then stole third. Two straight pop-ups brought Severson to the plate, where she grounded a ball to short but a CMU error allowed Garcia to score for Detroit’s only run of the game.
Central Michigan quickly regained the four-run lead in the bottom of the third thanks to a DeLamielleure double to score senior Summer Knoop, who reached third on a deep triple to right-center field.
The Chippewas opened the gap further with two runs in the fifth. Cox got her third hit of the game with a double to center field. Darwin’s single scored Cox, and she reach second on the throw to make the play at home. Horan brought home her second RBI on a single, giving Central Michigan the 8-1 advantage heading into the sixth inning.
DeLamielleure ended the game at 9-1 in the sixth inning with her third homerun of the season over the center field wall.
Horan, Knoop and DeLamielleure led the Chippewas with two RBIs each. Cox went 3-3 at the plate and scored two runs. Senior Kara Dornbos pitched her eighth complete game of the season, 18th of her career. She surrendered four hits and gave up no earned runs.
Sara Cupp finished with two of Detroit’s four hits. Garcia scored the Titan’s one run, and went 1-2 at the plate. Julia Maksym pitched 5.0 innings in the circle, giving up seven earned runs and 11 hits.
Central Michigan’s offense stayed hot in the second game, finishing with 16 hits. The Chippewas scored three runs in the first inning, starting with a single by senior Macy Merchant. DeLamielleure doubled to score Merchant, and came home on a Sexauer single. Horan singled up the middle to score the third run, bringing Sexauer in from second.
With a 3-0 lead after the first, Central Michigan poured on four more runs in the second. Merchant and Knoop opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and a walk loaded the bases. Freshman Katelyn Rentschler singled scoring Knoop and Cox brought home two runners with a single, putting the Chippewas up 6-0. A sac-fly to left field by Horan scored Rentschler, giving her three RBIs on the day.
After the day’s first scoreless inning for Central Michigan, the Titans jumped on the scoreboard with a three-run homerun by Kayla Kostich over the left field wall, cutting Central Michigan’s lead to 7-3.
The Chippewas rebounded though, putting up six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. DeLamielleure hit her second triple of the game to open the inning. Sexauer hit a sac-fly scoring DeLamielleure. With the bases empty, Rentschler hit her eighth double of the season. Cox tripled to score Darwin, in to pinch runner for Rentschler. Britteny Horan homered for the second time this year, emptying the bases and putting Central Michigan up 11-3. A single by DeLamielleure to score Merchant and freshman Evelyn Lorimer concluded the scoring on the day at 13-3.
Horan led Central Michigan with four RBIs, and finished the day with six total. Cox and DeLamielleure each finished game two with three RBIs, and Cox ended the day 5-5 at the plate. Junior Morgan Yuncker started in the circle, but came out after 3.2 innings. Junior Chelsea Sundberg earned her fifth win of the season, giving up one hit and no runs in 1.1 innings.
Kostich finished the game 2-3 with three RBIs. Cupp led Detroit with 3 hits, and finished the day 5-5 at the plate. Kat Hoffman gave up nine hits in 3.0 innings of work. Anna Bondy surrendered six earned runs and five hits in relief.
The Chippewas will be back in action at home on Friday, April 5, for a double header against Buffalo. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm, with game two to follow.
NORMAL, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team dropped a 7-3 contest to Illinois State at Marian Kneer Stadium Wednesday.
"We weren't able to get the clutch hit or clutch defensive play when we needed it," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "They had a couple hits that just fell in that ended up being the difference in the game."
In a rematch of the season opener, Northern Illinois (11-19) scored the first run of the game on a two-out RBI single by Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) in the top of the first inning.
However, the Redbirds (15-14) came back with a pair of runs in the first and three more in the second to open a 5-1 lead. Sturm pulled the Huskies within two when she belted a two-run home run over the left field fence to make the score 5-3 in the top of the third.
Unfortunately, that would be the last run for the Huskies. Illinois State would tack on two more runs in the sixth inning to make the score 7-3.
Sophomore Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), who picked up the victory in the team's first meeting Feb. 8, 2013 in Waco, Texas, wasn't as fortunate Wednesday. Norton took the loss allowing five runs on six hits in two innings of work.
Northern Illinois pounded out 11 hits with Sturm leading the way for the Huskie offense. The lefty designated player went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Sturm came in to pitch the final four innings, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out four.
"Jess played really well offensively," Sutcliffe said. "She's been putting the ball in play so we moved her up in the line up today to see what that looked like. Obviously she got the job done when we needed her to.
"Defensively, she came in and shut them down for a while. She pitched a good game. She definitely was the bright spot of the day."
The Huskies return to the field Friday when NIU faces travels to Muncie, Ind. for a doubleheader with the Cardinals. First pitch is set for at 1 p.m. Central Time.
Dayton, OH – Toledo came away with a 10-5 victory in the nightcap of a non-conference doubleheader at Dayton Wednesday night, snapping a 13-game losing streak dating back to March 6. The Flyers claimed the first game 9-1 in six innings, but the Rockets’ bats awakened in the second contest for the sixth win of the season.
UT (6-20, 0-4 MAC) returns to league action this weekend at Scott Park, starting with a Friday doubleheader versus Ohio (17-12, 2-2 MAC) at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Akron (13-14, 2-2 MAC) visits the Glass City to challenge the Rockets on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Live stats will be available all weekend at www.utrockets.com.
The Midnight Blue & Gold held an eight-game win streak over the Flyers entering Wednesday’s twinbill, but Dayton easily cut the streak off with three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings of game one which lead to the eight-run mercy rule.
UT managed just five hits against UD’s Kayla English who struck out nine Rockets for the complete-game win.
Senior second baseman Courtney McCarthy came into the contest with nine hits in her previous 15 at-bats (.600 AVG), and stayed hot with a 2-for-3 effort and her second home run in three games (third total) with a solo shot down the left-field line in the final inning.
Senior center fielder Kristen Roznoski extended her hit streak to a team-best eight games with a double in the early contest and two base knocks in the later matchup.
UD put the Rockets away with two homers, including a two-run shot by Kasi Vazquez in the fifth and a back-breaking three-run bomb by Paige Rhodes.
Freshman Marla Gooding started both games and was dealt the loss in the opener after giving up four runs on four hits through four innings of work. Sophomore lefty Alli Beery gave up five runs (three earned) on three hits in relief.
In the second game, UT jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage with RBI singles by senior catcher Morgan Smith and junior Lani Ernst in the second and third innings, respectively.
The Flyers answered with four runs in the third off Gooding, capped off by another two-run shot from Vazquez, and another score in the fourth when Tiffany Ricks connected on a solo blast for a 5-2 lead.
Toledo wasted no time and poured on five runs with four hits in the next frame to reclaim the lead, 7-5. Sophomore left fielder Alyssa Smith led off with a bunt single, followed by back-to-back hits from Roznoski and McCarthy which allowed Smith to score. Then an error by the shortstop on a ball hit by Ernst allowed Roznoski and McCarthy to cross the plate and tie the score at five.
Junior designated player Erinn Wright came up next and laced her first triple of the season down the right-field line for the go-ahead run. Senior Lindsey Tobias came up next and produced the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Gooding (7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB) settled down and shut down the Flyers over the final three frames for the win. The right-hander allowed just one earned run and went the distance while retiring the last six batters she faced in her fourth complete game.
Four Rockets had two hits in the second game, including Roznoski (2-for-5; 2 R), Ernst (2-for-4; 3 RBI), Tobias (2-for-3; 2 RBI) and A. Smith (2-for-4; RBI).
McCarthy (1-for-4; RBI) and sophomore first baseman Leigh Nebendahl (1-for-4) also recorded a hit.
UD’s Alysha Isaacson (4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 1 K) was charged with the loss.
Toledo out-slugged Dayton 12-7 and left six runners on base. The Flyers left four on and committed two errors against UT’s one miscue.
Roznoski swiped second base in the third inning to raise her season total to a conference-best 15 steals on the year.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University softball team dropped both games of a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday, April 3, at Varsity Field. The Eagles (10-15-1) tried to mount a comeback in game one but fell short, 5-4, against Valparaiso University (20-12), while they lost a 2-1 lead in the seventh and dropped a 3-2 eight-inning contest in the nightcap of the twinbill.
The Eagles scraped together just five hits in the opening 5-4 loss to the Crusaders. Courtney Loe (Temperance, Mich.-Bedford (West Liberty)) launched her first homer of the 2013 campaign in the third inning and Amanda Herron (Columbus, Ohio-St. Francis De Sales) picked up an RBI.
Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) tossed a complete game for the Eagles. After allowing all five of her runs in the first inning, the senior kept the Crusaders off the board for the remainder of the contest. Ignowski (6-4) surrendered five runs on eight hits, while striking out seven and walking just three. Valpo used three pitchers in the win. Ashlyn Michalak earned the start, going 2.2 innings and taking credit for all of Eastern's runs. Amanda Bolton (3-1) picked up the win, going three innings, allowing just one hit. Taylor Weissenhofer tossed 1.1 innings to pick up her fifth save on the season
Valparaiso opened up the game on fire, putting up five runs on five hits in the first inning to take a quick 5-0 lead. Kaitlyn Ranieri led off the game with a walk and moved into scoring position on a bunt single by Angie Doerffler in the next at-bat. Joylyn Ichiyama loaded the bases by singling through the left side for the Crusaders' cleanup hitter, Brittany Duncan. Duncan's single up the middle broke open the scoring to put Valpo up 1-0. After Ignowski set down Jessie Marinec on strikes, Tarah McShane roped a double over the center fielder's head, plating two more. Janelle Bouchard pushed the Crusaders' lead to five when she doubled to right field in the next at-bat.
Eastern answered in the bottom half with a pair of runs. Jenn Lucas (Pinckney, Mich.-Pinckney) doubled to right center with one out. After the bases got loaded, Herron drew a walk, scoring Lucas from third. Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) moved up to third on the Herron walk and later scored on a wild pitch to bring the Eagles within three, 5-2.
EMU was unable to plate anymore runs until the third when they added two more. With one out, Amanda Stanton (Homer Glen, Ill.-Lockport Township) singled up the middle setting the stage for Loe. Loe launched a fly ball to opposite field and watched it clear the right field fence to make it a 5-4 game, which is where the score stayed through the rest of the game.
Eastern dropped a lead in the seventh inning to and fell 3-2 against Valparaiso in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
Offensively the Eagles were dominant, posting 10 hits in the loss. Herron went 2-for-2 with a double and her first homer of the season, while Coquillard was 2-for-4. Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Central Catholic) went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the third.
Lauren Wells (Lowell, Ind.-Lowell) was the Eagles' starter, going 6.1 innings without being charged with a decision. Despite walking eight, the junior struck out six and allowed just two runs on three hits. Lindsay Rich (Perrysburg, Ohio-Perrysburg) tossed the final 1.2 innings in the extra inning affair. Rich (4-4) was charged with the loss after being touched for a run on two hits. Sierra Pico tossed the first four innings for Valparaiso, allowing a run on four hits, while Bolton allowed one run on five hits in a pair of innings. Weissenhofer (10-6) picked up her 10th win of the season after throwing the final two innings for Valpo, while striking out 6-of-7 batters faced.
Eastern opened the scoring in the third when Lucas doubled down the left field line. Nicholson ripped a single up the middle to score Lucas from second, giving EMU a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Ichiyama slugged her fourth home run of the 2013 campaign to dead centerfield, knotting up the score at one run apiece.
Herron did not let the tie stand for long, when she went deep to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Eagles back on top, 2-1.
The Crusaders were able to extend the game in the seventh. Ranieri walked to lead off the inning and moved up the second on a bunt by Doerffler. Head Coach Karen Baird elected to intentionally walk the number three hitter, Ichiyama, and face Duncan with runners at first and second. Duncan proceeded to tie the game with an RBI base knock down the left field line.
Valpo sealed the game, 3-2, by scoring a run in the eighth. Kimberlin Wallace led off the inning with a walk and was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Wisniewski. Ranieri shot the ball back up the middle on the next at-bat to give the Crusaders the final 3-2 tally.
Eastern takes Thursday off before playing host to Mid-American Conference foe Kent State University Friday, April 5, at Varsity Field. The doubleheader between the Golden Flashes and Eagles is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon.