Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University softball team (19-20, 4-8 Mid-American Conference) was unable to stop the red hot Ball State Cardinals (28-11, 12-0 MAC) on Sunday afternoon, losing by a final score of 8-4 at the Ohio Softball Field.
The Bobcats recorded six hits and one home run in the loss on Sunday. As a team, the Bobcats have now clubbed 59 home runs on the season, a mark which ties for the second highest total in MAC history.
Ball State’s offense had a strong day, as the Cardinals clubbed 11 hits in 33 at bats. The Cardinals were led by Loren Cihlar’s three hits and Hanne Stuedemann’s three RBI in their 12th consecutive MAC win.
Patience was the theme of Ohio’s first inning, as the ‘Cats forced Ball State pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker into throwing 36 pitches in the opening frame. Following a walk by Chelsea Hortman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Adrienne Gebele (Annapolis, Md.) won a 10-pitch battle with a sharp double down the right field line. Raven King (Alpine, Utah) then won a similar battle, earning a 10-pitch walk to load the bases for Caitlin Colvin (Bonney Lake, Wash.). Colvin lined to the first baseman to end the inning.
Ball State struck first on Sunday, scoring with one out in the top of the third inning when Jennifer Gilbert hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field. The fly ball drove Lauren Cihlar home from third, putting the Cardinals ahead, 1-0.
The Bobcats answered back immediately, scoring their first run of the day when Lauren Gellerman (San Diego, Calif.) hit a hard line drive to right center, bringing around teammate Tessa Bailey (Acworth, Ga.) to score from first base. Ohio then took its first lead of the series just a few plays later, as Gellerman alertly scampered home on a passed ball which slipped out of the catching mitt of Ball State’s Sadie Robertson.
Following two singles in the top of the fifth inning, Hanne Stuedemann changed the game with one swing of her bat. The designated player hit a three-run home run over the left center field wall, taking the Cardinals from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.
Ball State then added one more run in the top of the sixth inning, scoring an additional run when an Ohio infield error allowed Briana Evans to advance from second to home. This gave the Cardinals a 5-2 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ohio threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting two runners on base in the form of a King walk and Dakota Pyles’ (Galloway, Ohio) second hit of the afternoon. Bobcat hitters were unable to take advantage of this opportunity, however, as the next two were retired in order to end the inning.
Ball State was able to put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh inning, adding three runs when Reyna hit her second home run of the season. The round-tripper was of the three-run variety and gave Ball State an 8-2 lead.
Kaylin Clarke (North Royalton, Ohio) recorded her second successful pinch-hit appearance in as many attempts, leading off the seventh inning with a hit. One out later, she was brought around to score when Hortman hit her second home run in as many days, pulling the ‘Cats within four runs at 8-4.
Ohio will next be in action on Wednesday, April 17 against Marshall. The Bobcats and Thundering Herd will play a doubleheader in Athens beginning at 4 p.m.
DEKALB, Ill. –A walk-off home run by Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) gave the Northern Illinois University softball team an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Eastern Michigan at Mary M. Bell Field Sunday afternoon.
“This win gives us momentum in conference play and gets us back into it,” said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. “We knew going into the weekend we had to at least go .500. We fought back in every inning except one. Knowing we can score in every inning is the difference for this team.”
With the score tied, 7-7, with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Miller launched a Lauren Wells’ offering over the left field fence to give NIU (13-25, 3-7) its second-straight win and the series sweep over Eastern Michigan (10-25-1, 1-9).
Northern Illinois opened a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a suicide squeeze play by Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) scoring Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) from third. However, EMU answered with a run in the second and opened a 7-1 advantage with a six-run third.
“After we had that bad inning, I told them if we’re going to play that type of defense, we better have a good enough offense to make up for it and we did,” Sutcliffe said. “That really has been our theme, fight to the end, and we continue to do it.”
NIU slowly chipped away at the Eagle lead with a run in the bottom of the third and another in the fourth. With two on and two out Erika Oswald (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) singled to drive in a pair and make the score 7-5.
The Huskies tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Barnett drove in her third run of the game when she reached on a fielder’s choice. Ashley Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) drove in the winning run coaxing a bases loaded walk.
Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard), who came in to pitch for Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), picked up the win to improve to 8-10 on the season. She shut down the Eagles, allowing only three hits while striking out two in four-and-a-third innings.
The Huskies return to action Tuesday when NIU travels to Northwestern to face the Wildcats. First pitch is set for at 4 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live, via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University softball team lost both games of a doubleheader to Kent State Sunday afternoon, falling to the Golden Flashes by a score of 1-0 in game one and 5-1 in game two. The losses drop the Falcons’ overall record to 21-15, with a record of 5-7 in conference play. Kent State is now 19-14-1 overall, including a record of 9-3 in the MAC.
Senior Paige Berger recorded all three of the Falcons’ hits in game one, going 3-for-3 with three singles. Sophomore Jamie Kertes (8-9) was credited with the loss, giving up just one earned run and striking out seven in 7.0 innings.
Kent State recorded the game’s only run in the top of the opening frame, crossing home plate on two hits in the first inning. A single from Kent’s Dani Ramos was followed by a double from Kim Kirkpatrick, bringing home Ramos to give the Golden Flashes a 1-0 lead.
While Kertes was brilliant for the remainder of the contest, Kent State’s Emma Johnson was also up to the task, striking out 12 Falcons in the contest. Bowling Green was unable to solve Johnson for the remainder of the game, giving Kent State the 1-0 game one victory.
Sophomore Chloe Giordano led the Falcons with two hits in game two, going 2-for-2 with a run scored. Sophomore Shelby Fink recorded Bowling Green’s only RBI, going 1-for-1 in a pinch hitting situation. Sophomore Paris Imholz (13-5) started the game, giving up five hits and an earned run in the loss. Kertes pitched the final 5.0 innings in relief, giving up an earned run and striking out four.
In similar fashion to game one, Kent State got on the board early, putting up one run on two hits in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead.
Bowling Green responded in the bottom of the second, breaking the scoring drought with a run on two hits in the frame. With one out, Giordano singled to center field, eventually moving to second base on a sacrifice bunt. In the following at bat, Fink stepped to the plate and fired a shot to left field. Despite a diving effort in the Kent State outfield, Fink’s hit snuck through to bring home Giordano for the first Falcon run of the day.
With the score tied at 1-1, Kent State began to pour on the hits, scoring runs in the third, sixth and seventh inning to jump ahead by a 5-1 margin. Bowling Green wasn’t able to cross home plate again in game two, giving the Golden Flashes the 5-1 win.
"We didn't play our best today," said head coach Shannon Salsburg. "Kent State is a good team, and we didn't get the hits we needed to win today. We have a lot to work on this week, and we will be ready for this coming weekend against Central and Eastern Michigan."
The Falcons are back in action on Friday, April 19, when they take on Central Michigan in a conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
TOLEDO, Ohio - Toledo and Buffalo extended the season finale at Scott Park to nine innings on Sunday, until the Rockets escaped with a 2-1 victory to send their five seniors out with a win in their final home game. UT avenged Saturday's 1-0 defeat and split the series with the Bulls at one game apeice.
Toledo improves to 11-25 overall and 4-8 in Mid-American Conference play. Buffalo drops to 12-24 and 5-7 in league action.
The Midnight Blue & Gold loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth for junior Lani Ersnt, who hit a soft grounder to the left side. Buffalo's shortstop made a clean play, but hesitated on the throw to the plate, allowing the winning run to beat the throw for UT's second win in extra innings this season.
Buffalo second baseman Sammi Gallardo homered off Toledo starter Alli Beery's first pitch of the game, and it seemed like a big inning was brewing after Beery plunked the next batter and walked the third hitter. However, Beery found the zone and escaped the inning with no further damage.
Beery gave Toledo five solid innings of two-hit softball, but struggled with control a little bit with four walks. Freshman Marla Gooding came on in relief and continued where Beery left off, allowing just two hits in four scoreless innings for her sixth win of the season.
The Rockets were silenced once more by Bulls' starter Tori Speckman, who blanked UT on Saturday while allowing just three hits. Speckman pitched the complete game (8.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 K, 2 BB), and threw six innings of shutout ball, until the Rockets rallied for the tying run in the seventh and winning run in the ninth.
Five of Toledo's seven hits came in the final three frames, as Speckman fell victim to three errors in the ninth.
Senior Morgan Smith, who has three game-winning hits this season, scored the tying run in the seventh after starting the rally with a lead-off walk. Senior Courtney McCarthy plated Smith on a fielder's choice for her team-best 23rd RBI, as the shortstop tried to cut down the tying run at the plate.
The visitors had an opportunity with a runner at second base in each of final two extra frames, but Gooding was able to work her way out of each threat.
Sophomore Allissa Turkovich began the ninth inning with a bunt single, then advanced to second on an errant throw by the third baseman that richoted off the back of Turkovich.
Two batters later, senior Kristen Roznoski reached via bunt to place runners on the corners. McCarthy came up next and smacked a grounder to short, who looked back the runner at third and sailed her throw wide down the first-base line, pulling the first baseman off the bag and loading the bases to set up Ernst's final at-bat.
Turkovich (2-for-4) and Gooding (2-for-4) paced the UT offense with two hits each. McCarthy doubled in the first to push her streak to four consecutive games with a hit.
Sophomore Leigh Nebendahl came off the bench to play first base and collected a clutch hit in the seventh inning to move the tying run to third.
Three Rockets were hit by a pitch, while UT stranded a total of 12 runners on base. Buffalo committed four costly errors and left eight aboard.
Toledo will begin a brutal 17-game road trip to close out the season on Tuesday, April 16 when it travels to Wright State for a doubleheader. The first game in Dayton, Ohio is slated for 4:00 p.m., followed shortly after with a 6:00 p.m. nightcap.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Three difference Broncos hit home runs on Sunday but WMU Softball dropped a pair to Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan, 5-0 and 8-4.
Trailing 5-0 in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader, Colleen Lynch stroked a home run over the left center field wall, taking a 1-1 offering from CMU starting pitcher Chelsea Sundberg deep to put WMU on the board.
In the home half of the sixth Loren Nagy continued her hot hitting weekend with her second multi-run home run in the past three days. She registered nine RBIs this weekend and now ranks second on the team with 21. Diana Patterson singled to right center field with two outs and Alyssa Prokos pinch ran. Nagy took a 2-1 pitch down the left field line almost directly over the foul pole for her fourth home run of the season. She had her first career grand slam Friday against Eastern Michigan.
That home run brought the Broncos to within two runs but Central Michigan score three insurance runs on three hits in the top of the seventh. Megan Stamm hit a one-out home run, the first of her career in the home half of the seventh and WMU put two more runners on base with Melissa Palmer and pinch hitter Elisha Handshoe each drawing a walk. Diana Patterson popped out to end the rally.
In the series opener, CMU was held without a hit until the top of the fourth but two errors and 10 walks cost the Broncos in a 5-0 loss. WMU out hit the Chippewas, 4-3, with Palmer, Christina Pigozzi, Jenny Rohn and Colleen Lynch each collecting hits.
All but two of WMU's five hits in the second game were home runs and all four runs were scored courtesy of the long ball. The Broncos fell to 13-23 on the season and 4-6 in the MAC standings with road games at Buffalo and Akron coming up next weekend.
Those are the final four road games of 2013 as WMU's last 10 games will be played at Fran Ebert Field. The Broncos begin their final homestand with a doubleheader against Ohio and a two-game set against Akron (April 26-28) followed by a non-conference doubleheader against Valaparaiso on April 30. The regular season concludes May 3-5 when Bowling Green and Toledo come to Kalamazoo.
AKRON, Ohio – Shawna Hochstetler went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Alissa Birkhimer belted her second home run in as many days, but Akron's rally fell just short in a 7-6 loss to Miami (Ohio) Sunday afternoon at Lee R. Jackson Field.
The series split puts Akron at 17-20 overall and 4-8 in the Mid-American Conference, while Miami (Ohio) moves to 15-23 and 9-3 in the league.
Erin Seiler (11-13) tossed six and one-third innings, and was credited with the loss although only five of the seven runs allowed were earned. Megan Mattera pitched two innings of relief for the RedHawks but it was enough to get the win. She combined with starter Jenna Modic to strike out six.
Similar to Saturday's contest, Miami (Ohio) got on the board right away, tacking on a run in each of the first two innings. The Zips struggled to get going offensively in the earlygoing, until Hochstetler recorded UA's first hit of the game on a leadoff single in the bottom of the third. She stole second and advanced to third on a groundout off the bat of Kellie Roudabush, and would score Akron's first run of the day on a wild pitch.
A two-RBI double in the fourth gave the RedHawks a 4-1 edge that the Zips would avenge in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Taryn Allmon issued a leadoff single to center after a quality at-bat, and Hochstetler kept the ball rolling with a one-out single to left. The two advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and Allmon scored on a Roudabush groundout to cut the deficit to two.
Birkhimer stepped to the plate with Hochstetler at third and two outs to put one over the left field fence and tie the game at four.
The seventh inning proved to be the turning point of the day, as the two teams started the final frame still locked at four runs apiece. Miami (Ohio) got two quick baserunners on infield hits, and went on to load the bases with one out.
Modic delivered a double that rolled all the way to the wall in left center, scoring two and leaving two runners in scoring position. Seiler walked the bases loaded, and the RedHawk single that followed gave Miami (Ohio) a three-run lead, bringing Lisa Lash into the circle for Akron.
Lash wasted no time forcing the RedHawks into the final two outs with no further damage in her fourth appearance of the season.
Trailing 7-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Roudabush came up with a big single to center field, driving in two runs to cut the RedHawks' lead to one. Miami (Ohio) made the decision to intentionally walk Birkhimer, putting the winning run on base for the Zips with no outs, but the defense forced Akron into a game-ending double play to deny a comeback.
Akron returns to the field Tuesday, April 16, for a non-conference doubleheader at Niagara beginning at 3 p.m. The Zips swept both games against Niagara at home last year, with a convincing 12-1 five inning victory followed by a 5-0 shutout on April 3.