MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Tough pitching shut down the Central Michigan offense as it fell, 5-1, to Northern Illinois on Saturday.
The Chippewas (16-15, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) left seven runners on base while the Huskies (15-20, 3-4 MAC) struck out eight batters to claim the MAC win.
These two teams will face one another again tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Stadium.
NIU struck first in the top of the third. With the bases loaded and two outs the Huskies got a single to center from Kaitlyn Barrett allowing two runs to cross home. The next batter, Amanda Sheppard, also sent a ball up the middle scoring one more and advancing the lead to 3-0.
"We never came out with the same intensity that we played with yesterday," said head coach Margo Jonker. "When we are aggressive we play very well and today we were definitely passive at the plate."
In the top of the fourth the Huskies scored another run, following a ball hit to the edge of the infield, that hindered CarolAnn Sexauer from recording the third out at first.
Megan Dortch retired 10 straight Chippewas until Sexauer sent a ball off the center field fence for CMU's second hit of the game in the fifth inning. The Maroon and Gold were unable to bring Sexauer home, however, as they still trailed 4-0 after five innings.
Molly Coldren put the Chippewas on the board in the bottom of the sixth following a single to center, driving home Macy Merchant, who had singled to begin the inning. CMU could not cut further into the lead as runners were stranded at second and third. NIU made that hurt in the top of the seventh when it added another run, making the score 5-1.
CMU tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and third with one out, but again could not advance the runners and the game was ended.
Sexauer and Merchant each finished the game with two hits while Coldren went 1-for-3 at the plate with the lone RBI.
Kara Dornbos began the game in the circle allowing four runs on five hits and striking out three. Chelsea Sundberg came on in relief in the fifth, shutting down the Huskies' offense, allowing only one run on three hits and also striking out three.
Dortch threw 6.1 innings for NIU holding CMU to only one run on five hits and striking out a game-high seven batters. Jessica Sturm came on with one out in the seventh and allowed one hit while getting the final two outs needed to seal the win.