MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan softball team swept Western Michigan in two one-run games on Friday atStadium.
The Chippewas (16-14, 3-2 Mid-American) got a game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh from Summer Knoop to win 2-1, while in the second game the Maroon and Gold came back from being down 5-0 after three innings to win 7-6 over the Broncos (15-12, 2-2 MAC).
The Maroon and Gold will host Northern Illinois on Saturday at 2 p.m. and then on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Knoop Hits Game-Winner
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, dropped a ball into short left field, allowing Macy Merchant to score from second, and giving the Chippewas the game-winning run. Merchant hit a one out single to third and then was advanced to second on a bunt by Brogan Darwin.
"This was a pitchers dual but we happened to eke out the run," said head coach Margo Jonker. "I thought Kara (Dornbos) did a really nice job for us on the mound keeping WMU off balance."
Dornbos captured her eighth win on the season allowing one run on five hits and striking out six.
CMU had its first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first, but Knoop was thrown out at home following a single to right field.
The Broncos did break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth, following a double to start the inning by Tara Buchanan. The following batter, Courtney Rousseau, singled to center field allowing Buchanan to score from second.
The Maroon and Gold responded in the bottom of the fourth, with two outs, when Ashley Gilson reached first and advanced to second following a fielding error by the WMU shortstop. CarolAnn Sexauer made sure she would not be stranded, as she singled to center tying the game at one.
In the top of the fifth, found herself in a jam with the bases loaded, but got Buchanan on a called strike to end the inning.
Merchant finished game one 2-for-3 at the plate while Knoop and Sexauer both recorded one hit and a RBI.
Meredith Whitney pitched all seven innings for the Broncos allowing one earned run on six hits while striking out seven.
Chippewas Come From Behind to Complete the Sweep
After a great defensive play by Brittney Horan to throw a runner out at home to end the top of the sixth, the Chippewa offense went to work, trailing 6-4. Rachael Hensel sent a ball deep off the center field fence for a double to begin the inning. Three batters later, Karly Hansen hit a single to left field allowing a run to cross the plate. Following Hansen, Knoop drew the walk bringing the tying run home. Molly Coldren hit a fielder's choice to second which scored Merchant from third and handed CMU its first lead of the game at 7-6.
"To come from behind is awesome because WMU is such a great team," said Jonker. "To come from behind and win that game showed a lot of heart. The team played great Chippewa softball by doing the little things. We did a great job moving the runners and making smart decisions on the base paths."
The Broncos had the bases loaded in the top of the seventh but came off the bench to get the final out and seal a come-from-behind win for CMU.
WMU did not waste any time in game two jumping out in front, following a Tara Buchanan three-run blast over the left field fence in the top of the first inning. It added to its lead in the top of the third following another deep ball that cleared the left field fence, this time from the bat of Mackenzie Shepeck.
The Chippewas found the board in the bottom of the fourth, when Chelsea DeLamielleure beat out a ball to the pitcher which allowed to score from third. The next batter, Hensel, ripped a ball down the left field line allowing two more Chippewas to cross the plate, bringing the score to 5-3.
The Broncos added to their lead in the top of the fifth when a hit to third with the bases loaded allowed a run to cross the plate. With the bases still loaded, Morgan Yuncker got out of the rough inning by getting the next batter to fly out to center followed by a ground out to second.
CMU matched WMU in the bottom of the fifth, off a hard hit ball to second by Knoop scoredfrom second. This brought the score to 6-4 in favor of the visitors.
Coldren finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI while Hensel also was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
Chelsea Sundberg began the game going 2.2 innings allowing five runs on four hits and striking out one. Kristen Kuhlman came on in the third and went 1.2 innings allowing one run on one hit. Yuncker threw 2.1 innings holding the Broncos to only one hit, as Dornbos came on in relief to grab her first save of the year getting the final out.
Becca Shemberger threw five innings for WMU allowing three earned runs on six hits and striking out four. Shepeck threw one inning allowing three runs on three hits and received the loss for the Broncos.