Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communication Departments
Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Central Michigan Softball dropped its series against Mid-American Conference leader Ball State, 12-0 and 6-4. After struggling both in the field and at the plate in game one, the Chippewas came firing back in game two, taking the Cardinals to 10.0 innings.
Game two was an intense, extra inning affair with Central Michigan taking an early lead. Sophomore Trista Cox reached on a throwing error and advanced to second as the ball trickled to the Cardinal’s dugout. With two out and Cox on second, junior Brittney Horan hit a single up the middle to score the run.
Bickel answered for Ball State (32-13, 15-1 MAC) though in the fifth inning, hitting a one-out homerun over the center field wall.
In the bottom of the seventh, Senior Macy Merchant singled to lead off for the Chippewas and advanced to third on a two-out single from Darwin. With the home crowd cheering behind home plate, Cox hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by a diving Cihlar to extend the game to extra innings.
The Cardinals wasted no time in extra innings, putting two runners on with two outs. Cilhar, after making the game saving catch, hit a single to centerfield to be the first runner on. She advanced to second after a pitch from junior Chelsea Sundberg hit Stuedemann. Gilbert put Ball State up 4-1 with a homerun to left center field.
Freshman Katelyn Rentschler got Central Michigan going after Sexauer grounded out to third. Horan brought the Chippewas roaring back with a homerun over the left field wall, bringing it back to a one run ballgame. Another Cardinal error allowed for Zahrn to reach first, and she advanced on a ground out from Merchant. Senior Summer Knoop, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, hit a groundball that hopped between the shortstop’s legs to score Zahrn, tying the game at 4-4.
Ball State continued its offensive prowess, opening the tenth inning with a single from Cihlar up the middle. A double from Steudemann scored the runner, and Steudemann came into score on an RBI sac-fly from Rager to centerfield.
The Chippewas were unable to respond, only putting one base runner on in the bottom of the inning.
Merchant went 3-6 from the plate with a double, her fifth of the season. Horan had three RBIs off of two hits and a homerun. Darwin went 2-5 and pushed her hit streak to now five games. Sundberg pitched all 10.0 innings, giving up six runs and striking out five batters.
Cihlar went 3-5 in game two with two runs for the Cardinals. Carpenter was 2-5 with a double. Gilbert and Bickel each contributed a homerun. Schifferdecker started in the circle, pitching 7.1 innings and surrendering 10 hits. Sanders closed the game, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up no runs.
Ball State took control right off the bat in game one, coming out and scoring six runs in the top of the first. The inning started with singles by Loren Cihlar and Hanne Stuedemann. With runners on the corners and no one out, Jennifer Gilbert knocked a double to put the Cardinals up 2-0. Senior Kara Dornbos was able to rebound by striking out two consecutive batters. Ball State was able to load the bases with two outs, bringing Selena Reyna to the plate. She emptied the bases with a deep shot over the left field wall.
Ball State continued to pour it on in the second inning, putting its leadoff hitter on base with a single up the middle. Junior Morgan Yuncker came in for Dornbos, and struck out the first batter she faced. She was unable to duplicate the effort on batter number two, giving up a two run homer to Taylor Rager to left center.
In the top of the third inning, a CMU error and a walk put two runners on with one out for the Cardinals. Yuncker struck out Gilbert for out number two, but walked Rager to load the bases. Carpenter hit a base-emptying double to deep left field to put Ball State up 11-0.
The Cardinals hit their third homerun of the game in the fourth inning, this time a solo shot from Stuedemann to left field.
Junior Cory DeLamielleure, senior Brogan Darwin and junior Raechel Zahrn accounted for Central Michigan’s (25-16, 11-5 MAC) only three hits of the game. The Chippewas left a total of four runners on base. Dornbos started in the circle, striking out two batters and giving up five hits. Yuncker pitched 4.0 innings in relief, giving up five runs and striking out two.
Steudemann finished game one 3-3 with four runs and an RBI. Gilbert went 2-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Nicole Steinbach pitched a complete game, giving up three hits and striking out six batters.
Central Michigan will be back in action tomorrow, April 27, for game one against Miami (Ohio). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Margo Jonker Stadium.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – Clear blue skies were a perfect backdrop as the Eastern Michigan University softball team swept Mid-American Conference East foe Miami University Friday, April 26, in a doubleheader at Varsity Field. The Eagles (14-29-1; 4-12 MAC) dropped the RedHawks (17-26; 10-6 MAC), 8-4, in game one, before strong EMU pitching kept the Green and White on-top, 4-2, in the nightcap of the twinbill.
Two pitchers put in work on the mound for the Eagles. Jenna Ignowski (Niles, Mich.-Niles) earned the win, pitching 4.2 innings. Ignowski (8-7) struck out four, allowing two earned runs in the circle. Lindsay Rich (Perrysburg, Ohio-Perrysburg) closed out the game, slinging for 2.1 innings allowing four hits and a single run. Miami's ace Paige Myers handled the majority of the pitching duties for the visitors going for 5.2 innings, striking out eight without walking a single batter. Jenna Modic (3-5) started the game for the RedHawks and was touched up quickly, allowing four hit and four runs in only 0.1 inning.
Amanda Stanton (Homer Glen, Ill.-Lockport Township) hit two home runs and went 3-for-3 at the plate while contributing three RBI. Stanton's two long balls tied her for the team lead with seven round-trippers. Katy Blaharski (Carleton, Mich.-Airport) went 3-for-4, extending her hitting streak to 11-straight games, while posting a pair of runs batted in. Amanda Herron (Columbus, Ohio-St. Francis De Sales) hit her second home run of the season while going 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Miami's Taylor Shuey led the Red and White's offensive output hitting 3-for-5 and Kylie McChesney hit 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The RedHawk's speedy base runner Shuey scored the game's opening run, coming home after a Shanyn McIntyre base hit squeaked past Nellie Coquillard at third. Miami added a second tally in the first inning, when Ledbetter singled into shallow right center field to plate Modic, giving the RedHawks a quick 2-0 lead.
The Green and White came out swinging in the bottom of the first. Blaharski sent Miami pitcher Modic's 1-1 offering deep down the left foul line to earn a double, her seventh of the season. With Blaharski on second, Herron launched a pitch 220 feet over the left centerfield. Two batters later with a runner on first, Stanton hit her sixth round tripper of the year, giving EMU its first lead of the game, which it did not relinquish through the rest of the opener.
In the bottom of the fourth Stanton whacked the cover off the ball again with her second long ball to right centerfield. Stanton's solo shot was her fifth homer in as many games. Later that inning with two out and two in scoring position, Blaharski hit a line drive single straight down the first base line, plating Courtney Nicholson (Navarre, Ohio-Canton Central Catholic) and Courtney Loe (Temperance, Mich.-Bedford (West Liberty)). Blaharski was able to advance to second thanks to an errant throw which allowed Jenn Lucas (Pinckney, Mich.-Pinckney) to score Blaharski on a single and increase the Eagles' lead to 8-2.
The RedHawks got back on the board in the top of the fifth when Rich came in to pitch relief with the bases loaded and balked, gifting the visitors their first score in three and two third innings. Rick's balk was only the second called on the Eagles this season.
In the top on the seventh with two on, McChesney ripped a pitch into right center to score one. The only thing stopping a second Miami base runner from scoring was a laser to home plate from Stanton, giving the catcher, Loe, a chance to turn back and eventually run down MU's Ledbetter. The final play of the game was a slow rolling grounder to Herron that was bobbled. After regaining the ball, Herron tagged Shuey out before reaching first to keep the Eagles' third conference victory alive, 8-4.
Lauren Wells (Lowell, Ind.-Lowell) made the start for the Eagles tossing 4.2 innings. Wells (1-17) picked up her first win of the 2013 campaign after surrendering two runs, one earned, on four hits. Ignowski came in relief to pick-up her first save of the season after hurling the final 2.1 innings without allowing a run after scattering just one hit. Megan Mattera (6-8) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in three innings of work
Blaharski extended her hit streak to 12 games after leading off the bottom of the first with a base hit. Nellie Coquillard (Niles, Mich.-Niles) went 1-for-3 with a two run double, while Stanton and Lucas each had an RBI. Lucas went 2-for-3 in the nightcap.
The RedHawks opened up the scoring in the first inning of game two. After Shuey drew a walk and Hailey Reed drew another one, Modic ripped a single up the middle to load the bases. With two outs, Loe mishandled a pitch behind the plate from Wells allowing Shuey to cross the plate on a passed ball, making it 1-0.
Shuey led off the top of the third with an infield single before moving to third on a one-out double from Reed to right centerfield. With runners at second and third Ledbetter lofted a ball just out of the reach of Blaharski into left field scoring Shuey from third to give Miami a 2-0 edge.
The Eagles came out swinging their second time through the lineup. Lucas ripped a one-out single up the middle before Herron lofted one into left field to put runners at first and second for Coquillard. Coquillard smoked a pitch off the fence in right centerfield for a two-RBI double. Stanton came to the plate and poked her second double of the day scoring Coquillard from second, to give the Green and White its first lead, 3-2.
Eastern added to its lead in the fourth by scoring a run. Wells led off the inning with a walk and was relieved by Myranda Barnes (Ypsilanti, Mich.-Belleville) as a pinch runner. Barnes moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a wild pitch. With two outs, Lucas knocked one just out of reach into right field to score Barnes and give the Eagles a 4-2 lead after four innings of play.
After getting two quick outs in the top of the fifth, Wells walked three straight batters to load the bases which gave way for Ignowski to take over in the circle. Ledbetter came to the plate with bases loaded for the RedHawks but hit a slow-roller back to Ignowski to end the threat. Ignowski allowed just one hit through the rest of the game to keep the 4-2 lead in tact for EMU.
Eastern continues the final home weekend of the 2013 campaign Saturday, April 27, when it plays host to the conference-leading Ball State University Cardinals. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. at Varsity Field.
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University softball team split its doubleheader with Akron at Mary M. Bell Field Friday.
Northern Illinois (18-28, 8-8) took Game One, 3-0, before falling 7-5 in eight innings to the Zips (19-24, 5-11) in the second game.
"We're doing a better job of putting up runs on the board earlier in the game and not have to fight out of a whole," said NIU head coach Christina Sutcliffe. "Unfortunately we had to do that in the second game a little bit."
Emily Norton (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) was masterful in the first game of the day, shutting out Akron. She allowed one hit while striking out seven. Norton struck out the side in the third, one of three one-two-three innings for the sophomore pitcher.
With the game scoreless through three-and-a-half innings, the Huskies broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Nicole Gremillion (Missouri City, Texas/Elkins) opened the inning with a leadoff triple. Jennifer Barnett (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) drove in her first run of the game with an RBI single to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Shelby Miller (Ottawa, Kan./Ottawa) scored Delani Vest (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland), who was pinch running for Barnett, from third to give NIU a 2-0 lead.
Barnett capped the scoring for NIU in the bottom of the fifth when she singled to right field to drive in Bryanna Phelan (Coal City, Ill./Coal City). Barnett led the way for NIU going 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while Gremillion was right behind her with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with a run scored.
Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh of Game Two, the Huskies rallied to tie the game. With the bases loaded and one out, Miller doubled to right centerfield to drive in a pair and pull NIU within a run. Barnett tied the game when she drove in her first run of the game and third of the day on a groundout to third.
However, a two-run homer by Rachael Ratcliffe in the top of the eighth gave the Zips the lead and momentum heading to the bottom of the inning. Akron pitcher Erin Sieler kept NIU off the board in the bottom of the frame to pick up the win.
NIU returns to the diamond Saturday when the Huskies welcome Ohio to DeKalb this weekend. Saturday and Sunday's games will be 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively. Fans can follow all the action live via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com.
This weekend is Alumni Weekend at Northern Illinois. NIU Athletics would like to welcome all former Huskie softball players, coaches and their families to Alumni Weekend April 26-28. There will be a reception at Fatty's Pub and Grille following Saturday's game and a pregame tailgate Sunday before the Huskies take on the Bobcats. For more information or to RSVP, contact assistant director of development Kyle Skarb at 815-753-9198.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan softball came back to take game two, 4-3, over Ohio after falling, 7-5, in the series opener on Friday afternoon.
Both games were back and forth battles but it was WMU that took advantage of four costly Ohio errors in game two to take the lead for good in the sixth inning. Loren Nagy cracked her ninth double of the season to drive in two runs, giving WMU a 4-2 lead.
Melissa Palmer reached on a fielding error to start things off and Jenny Rohn singled back to the pitcher. Diana Patterson, who was 4-for-7 on the day, hit into an infield fly but advanced both runners into scoring position to set the table for Nagy.
Ohio scored its first two runs of the game off the bat of Lauren Gellerman as she hit two home runs in her first two at bats. The Bobcats made it interesting in the seventh, scoring a run off a double from Amanda Dalton. Mackenzie shut Ohio down the rest of the way to earn the complete game victory with a career high 11 strikeouts.
Nagy drove in WMU's first run of the game on a single up the middle in the third. She drove in a second run in the fifth on her first double of the game. She is the 34th Bronco to have two doubles in game and ended the game with all four of WMU's RBIs.
It was WMU that suffered from untimely errors in the series opener, six of them, as Ohio came from behind to win. The Broncos grabbed its lead on a Megan Stamm grand slam home run, the first of her career and second career home run. It is the second grand slam for WMU this season.
The Broncos had six extra base hits on Friday as Palmer hit half way through the cycle with a double and triple in the loss.
Western Michigan will welcome Akron into Kalamazoo this weekend. Game start at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.