Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communication Departments
NIAGARA, N.Y. – The University of Akron softball team picked up a weekday victory in non-conference action Tuesday afternoon, taking down Niagara on the road, 4-1.
The originally scheduled doubleheader between the Zips and the Purple Eagles was delayed over an hour in starting due to rain, pushing back the start time of the second game as a result. Round two was called in the fourth inning due to darkness and therefore was not considered an official game.
Akron (18-20) took a while to get going offensively, but was able to plate four runs on three hits on the day, taking advantage of three Niagara errors in the last two innings.
The Purple Eagles grabbed a quick 1-0 lead after the first, which they easily maintained over the next several frames.
Rachael Ratcliffe posted her eighth double of the year in the top of the fourth for UA's only extra-base hit of the game. Alexa Montesano entered to run for Ratcliffe and wasted no time stealing third. Jessica Schneider drew a one-out walk and stole second base to put both runners in scoring position for Erin Pond.
Montesano would score, Schneider advanced to third and Pond reached first safely on a fielder's choice, still with just one out. Lisa Lash came in to run for Schneider but was caught off third base as Pond stole second.
A McKenzi Rhodes single moved Pond over to third, and although Rhodes was caught off the bag as well, Pond scored before the out occurred to give Akron a 2-1 advantage.
The Zips tacked on another run in the top of the sixth on a Ratcliffe sacrifice fly that brought home Alissa Birkhimer. Akron's last run came in the seventh inning, which was highlighted by a big base hit from Taryn Allmon who would eventually come around to score. Allmon has reached base safely in the last six-straight games.
Erin Seiler went the distance in the circle for the Zips, improving her record to 12-13. The freshman scattered four hits and struck out six of the 28 batters she faced.
Akron will return to Lee R. Jackson Field this weekend when it hosts a Mid-American Conference series with Ohio. The Zips and the Bobcats will face off Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday has been designated as Senior Day honoring UA's two seniors, Birkhimer and Cassie Gleisner prior to the first pitch.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Miami University softball team used some seventh-inning heroics to earn a 5-4 victory over Northern Kentucky in a non-conference game on Tuesday. The RedHawks improve to 16-23 on the season, while the Norse fall to 10-31.
The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled when lightning and heavy rain hit the area. It was one out away from being an official contest with the RedHawks in front, 3-0, in the bottom of the fifth. Because they were unable to finish, it was ruled an incomplete game and all the statistics were thrown out.
In the game the teams were able to complete, NKU struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Norse starting pitcher Emily Schwaeble was pitching well early, striking out nine RedHawks through the first four innings to maintain the 1-0 lead.
Miami finally broke through with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Kylie McChesney led off with a walk. Remy Edwards moved her over to second base with a sacrifice bunt. A single from Bree Lipscomb moved McChesney to third. Kristy Arbour walked to load the bases with only one out. Taylor Shuey followed with a single to center field, scoring McChensey. A sacrifice fly by Tiyona Marshall brought home Lipscomb and gave the RedHawks the lead at 2-1. Hailey Reed made it 4-1 with a single through the left side, scoring Arbour and Shuey.
Schwaeble would help her own cause with a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth that tied the score at four. Paige Myers came in to relieve Jenna Modic at that point, and she held the Norse off the scoreboard in the final two innings to earn the victory. She allowed only one hit, while striking out five.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Shuey reached first after an error by the NKU first baseman. She stole second to get into scoring position. Marshall sent a single through the right side. Shuey went home on the play and just beat the throw to score the winning run for Miami.
Reed finished the opener, 2-for-4 with two RBI. Marshall was 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Shuey was 1-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.
Miami returns to action this weekend with an important two-game series at Mid-American Conference leading Ball State. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m., while Sunday’s game will begin at 1 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team suffered an 11-9 loss to Northwestern at Sharon J. Drysdale Field Tuesday afternoon.
What started out as a pitcher's duel, turned into a slugfest as the Huskies (13-26) and Wildcats (22-16) combined for 20 runs and 18 hits. The two teams combined for one run and two hits through three and a half innings.
"If you had told me on the bus before this game that if we scored nine runs, I would've told you we'd win this game," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe.
Ashley Kopp (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale South) gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run over the left field fence in the top of the second. It was Kopp's team-leading and career-high sixth home run of the season.
Northwestern's bats heated up in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 4-1 lead. Marisa Bast doubled to lead off the bottom of the inning and Amy Letourneau gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer over right centerfield. A single and a double put runners at second and third with no outs for Northwestern. After a fly out to left, Northwestern tacked on two more runs on a Huskie error and sacrifice fly to right field.
The Huskies rallied in the top of the fifth to retake the lead, 7-4, scoring six runs with two outs. Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) began the rally with a double to right centerfield to drive in a pair and pull to within a run. Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) then doubled to the left field corner to drive in Miller and tie the game, 4-4.
With Murielle Vansach (Chicago, Ill./Gordon Tech), who pinch ran for Barnett, on third after advancing on a wild pitch, NIU pitcher Jessica Sturm (Wichita, Kan./Goddard) helped her own cause with a single up the middle to drive in Vansach to give the Huskies a 5-4 . With Sturm and Kopp at second and third, Erika Oswald (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) singled to centerfield to clear the bases and give NIU a three-run lead.
The Wildcats got seven runs back in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly to centerfield and a three-run homer gave the Wildcats an 8-7 lead with one out. With two outs and runners at second and third, Kristin Scharkey doubled to right off reliever Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) to clear the bases and give Northwestern a 10-7 lead. A double by Mari Majam scored Scharkey to give the Wildcats an 11-7.
NIU pulled within two in the top of the sixth when Miller drove in a pair on her second double of the game to make the score 11-9 Wildcats.
Miller led the way for the Huskie offense going 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Oswald went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Kopp and Barrett each went 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
"I'm glad she carried her performance against Eastern Michigan into today," Sutcliffe said of Miller's performance. "Hopefully she'll continue to build her confidence. She put in the work. It's nice to see it pay off. She's going to keep fighting no matter what.
"Honestly, 1-9, we had a couple kids get opportunities today and they performed, they got on. It just shows how our depth has come through and our bench is being productive."
The Huskies return to action tomorrow when the Huskies play host to UIC. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT. Fans can follow all the action live, via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University softball team began its 10-game homestand Tuesday, April 16, with a split against Youngstown State University. The Eagles (11-26-1) knocked-off the Penguins (10-17), 5-3, in the first game to snap a 13-game losing streak before falling to Youngstown State, 13-3, in the finale of the twinbill.
EMU scored five runs on seven hits in the win. Jenn Lucas (Pinckney, Mich.-Pinckney) led the way offensively for Eastern going 2-for-3 with a trio of RBI, while Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) went 1-for-2 and drove in a pair of runs.
Lauren Wells (Lowell, Ind.-Lowell) made the start for the Eagles and tossed the first 3.2 innings. Wells surrendered just one run on three hits, walking six and punching out five. Lindsay Rich (Perrysburg, Ohio-Perrysburg) went the final 3.1 innings for EMU. Rich (5-5) allowed a pair of runs but held off YSU for her fifth win of the 2013 campaign. Kayla Haslett (0-5) was the starter for the Penguins and allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits, while striking out five and walking one.
The Penguins opened up the scoring in the first inning. Courtney Ewing drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a single from Samantha Snodgrass in the next at-bat. Wells was able to set down the next batter on strikes but Kelly Stowe singled up the middle to give Youngstown State an early 1-0 lead.
Eastern tied up game in the third. Lucas ripped a single through the left side and Katy Blaharski (Carleton, Mich.-Airport) advanced her on a bunt single in the next at-bat. Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Central Catholic) dropped a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) launched a ball to deep center field, but the Penguins' centerfielder made a leaping grab to retire the Eagles' third baseman. However, the fly ball was deep enough to score Lucas from third, tying it up at one run each.
The Eagles took advantage of a Penguin miscue in the fourth, to score a trio of runs. Aoife Duffy (Powell, Ohio-Olentangy Liberty) reached on a one-out single bringing Courtney Loe (Temperance, Mich.-Bedford (West Liberty)) to the plate. A single through the right side put runners at first and second with just one out. Rich took a hack and reached on a fielding error by YSU's second baseman to load the bases for Lucas. Lucas ripped a fastball to right centerfield for a base clearing double, putting EMU up 4-1.
Eastern added to its lead in the fifth after Nicholson led the inning off with an infield single. In the next at-bat, Amanda Herron (Columbus, Ohio-St. Francis De Sales) moved the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt, bringing Coquillard to the plate. Coquillard roped a ball to deep right centerfield, scoring Nicholson from second base, giving the Eagles a 5-1 lead.
Snodgrass singled with one out in the top of the seventh and waited for Vicky Rumph to stride to the plate. Rumph launced a homer off the flag pole in dead centerfield to bring the Penguins within two, 5-3. Rich came back into the circle and held off the Penguins to snap Eastern's 13-game losing streak.
The Eagles were held to just five hits in the nightcap of the twinbill, with Herron leading the way going 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while Blaharski and Nicholson each had an extra base hit. Blaharski popped her first three-bagger of the 2013 season, while Nicholson ripped her fifth double of 2013.
Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) made the start for the Eagles, tossing the first four innings. Ignowski (6-6) was charged with the loss after being touched for four runs on six hits in the first four innings. Wells came in relief for the Eagles and threw 1.1 innings for the Green and White, surrendering two runs on three hits. Rich came in for EMU and threw one inning, allowing a seven runs on five hits, before Ignowski re-entered the game to throw the final 0.2 innings. Casey Crozier (9-5) tossed six innings in the start for Youngstown State, picking up her ninth win, before handing over the circle to the game one starter, Haslett, in the seventh inning.
The Eagles jumped on top early as Abby Davidson (Westerville, Ohio-Olentangy Orange) drew a one-out walk and Nicholson ripped a double into the right centerfield gap to put runners at second and third for Herron. The Columbus, Ohio native lofted one just over the second baseman for a single, scoring both runners to put the Green and White up 2-0 quickly.
Youngstown State came back to score in the top of the second when Molly Manietta delivered a two-out single up the middle scoring Rumph from second to make it 2-1.
Eastern added to its lead in the third when Blaharski ripped a one-out triple and Davidson lofted the first pitch she saw to centerfield deep enough to score Blaharski and give the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Sarah Ingalls put the Penguins right back into play when she launched a two-run homer over the leftfield fence to knot up the game at three runs apiece.
YSU turned around in the fifth and led off with a Samantha Troxell single and a pair of base hit bunts to load the bases for Snodgrass. Snodgrass drew a walk to put the Penguins up by a run, 4-3. Rumph followed Snodgrass with a deep fly to leftfield, scoring another run on a sacrifice fly, putting YSU up, 5-3.
The Penguins continued to add to their lead in the sixth when Sarah Gabel led off with a double. Gabel was able to advance to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Krombach to give Youngstown State a 6-3 lead. Youngstown State added seven more runs in the seventh inning to set the final 13-3 tally.
The Eagles continue their 10-game homestand Friday, April 19, when the Green and White welcome the University of Toledo into Varsity Field for a doubleheader. The twinbill is scheduled to begin Friday at 1 p.m.