Albuquerque, N.M. - Central Michigan Softball finished day two of the New Mexico Lobo Classic with a win over Hampton, 8-6, and a heartbreaking loss to IPFW, 10-6 in extra innings. Sophomore CarolAnn Sexauer and senior Summer Knoop stepped up for the Chippewas, combining for 9 RBIs between the two games.
Central Michigan wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard against Hampton, grabbing a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Senior Macy Merchant singled to short and advanced to second off of a Knoop single. Sexauer brought both runners in on a three-shot homerun down the left field line. Junior Brittney Horan continued to swing the bat well, singling to second before Trista Cox brought Horan home on the Chippewas’ second homerun of the inning to go up 5-0.
After two scoreless innings, Merchant moved into scoring position with her first steal of the season, bringing her career total to 51. Central Michigan added to their lead with an RBI single by Knoop to score Merchant from second. Sexauer’s bat continued to be a problem for the Pirates, knocking a double to right field to score Knoop.
Hampton, down 7-0, staged a comeback in the bottom of the fourth. The surge started with a single to short by Nina Ferguson, who quickly moved to second on a throwing error. Kerissa Burruel reach on balls, and advanced to third when Shine Huwe doubled to right to score Ferguson. With one on the board, the Pirates scored two more runs on another error. With Junior Morgan Yuncker into pitch for junior Kristen Kuhlman, Bobbi Langlois doubled to right to bring around three runs, bringing the Pirates within one, 7-6.
Central Michigan extended the lead to 8-6 in the sixth with Sexauer’s fifth RBI of the game that scored freshman Evelyn Lorimer from second. Lorimer reached on a single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Merchant.
Morgan Yuncker pitched 3.2 innings, giving up no earned runs and five hits. Kuhlman pitched 1.1 innings in relief, surrendering one unearned run. Chelsea Sundberg was awarded the win, pitching 2.0 innings and striking out three batters.
In the evening game, Central Michigan fell to IPFW in extra innings. The Chippewas took an early 2-0 advantage in the first with an RBI single by freshman Katelyn Rentschler. The shot up the middle brought around junior Lauren Bowman, pinch running for Knoop. Sexauer then scored thanks to a Horan single to left field, putting the Chippewas up 2-0.
Central Michigan lost its lead in the third, giving up three runs. The Mastodons got on the board with a two run single by Ashleigh Bousquet. The inning’s scoring concluded with a single by Dani Pugh that brought Bousquet home.
After going down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth, Cox and Kuhlman were brought in by a double to left field by Knoop. The two-run double knotted the game at four, where it would remain through the seventh inning.
In the top of the eighth, IPFW proved to be too much for the Chippewas, bringing in six runs off of five hits. Central Michigan attempted to mount a comeback, but fell short. Merchant slapped a double that scored junior Raechel Zahrn but was thrown out at third. Then, with no runners on, Sexauer added her second homerun of the day but that is as close as the Chippewa would get.
With the loss, Central Michigan falls to 2-2 on the season.
Sundberg (1-1) started in the circle for the Chippewas, pitching 3.0 innings and giving up four earned runs. Kuhlman (0-1) pitched 4.1 innings, surrendering three earned runs and six hits.
Central Michigan concluded the New Mexico Lobo Classic tomorrow against New Mexico. The Lobos defeated the Chippewas earlier in tournament play, 4-0. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 ET.