Mount Pleasant, Mich.- Central Michigan swept Buffalo on Friday, April 5, at Margo Jonker Stadium, 7-1 and 6-1. Senior Kara Dornbos and junior Chelsea Sundberg combined to give up two runs on the day in a strong pitching effort.
In game one, the Chippewas took advantage of the Bull’s pitching staff in the second inning, scoring six runs. Sophomore Trista Cox and junior Brittney Horan were hit by a pitch back-to-back to place two on with one out for Central Michigan. The runners advanced on a single by freshman Evelyn Lorimer. Macy Merchant hit her second single of the day to score Cox and Horan, putting the Chippewas up 2-0. Senior Summer Knoop added to the lead with a single up the middle to bring in Lorimer from second base. A third batter hit by a pitch and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Central Michigan, and scored Merchant. The pitching woes weren’t over yet though, with two more runs scoring on another walk and a wild pitch.
Heather Ryder cut into Central Michigan’s lead in the third inning with a lead off, first-pitch homerun over the left field wall.
With a 6-1 lead, Merchant singled to right field to open the fourth inning. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Merchant stole third for her second stolen base of the game. Knoop collected her second RBI of the afternoon to score Merchant, putting the Chippewas up 7-1.
Merchant led Central Michigan with three hits and two RBIs. Knoop finished 2-4 at the plate and with two RBIs. Dornbos pitched her ninth complete game of the season, giving up one run and five hits.
Ryder led Buffalo with one RBI and finished 1-3 at the plate. She started the game in the circle for the Bulls, but was pulled after giving up five runs in 1.2 innings. Tori Speckman pitched 4.1 innings, giving up three hits and one run.
The Chippewas wasted no time in game two, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the first. Merchant opened the game with a single to the short stop, her fourth hit of the day. After a Buffalo error and advancing on a Knoop groundout, she stole home for her third stolen base of the series, eleventh of the season.
Sophomore Lauren Smith kept the momentum in Central Michigan’s favor with a two-out triple to right-center field. Lorimer brought her home with a single to put the Chippewas up 2-0.
The bats continued to produce for Central Michigan in the third, putting up three more runs. Sophomore CarolAnn Sexauer singled to center field and moved to second on a passed ball. An error by the right fielder allowed for freshman Katelyn Rentschler to reach first and bring Sexauer in to score. Cox doubled to score another run for the Chippewas, and was brought home by a single from Horan, making the score 5-0.
Central Michigan concluded its scoring in the fifth inning after Cox doubled to right field, and was brought in by a triple from Horan.
Anissa Pinedo opened the seventh inning for Buffalo with a double to right field. After a groundout and strikeout, Ryleigh Fitzgerald singled to left-center to score the runner, cutting into the Chippewas lead, 7-1.
Horan finished 2-3 with two RBIs and a triple for Central Michigan. Cox went 2-3 with an RBI. Merchant stole four bases on the day, brining her career total to 62, moving her into a tie for fourth place all-time in Chippewa history. Sundberg picked up her sixth win of the year and gave up one run on four hits.
Fitzgerald led Buffalo with an RBI and went 1-3 at the plate. Nicole Aviles started in the circle for the Buffalo, giving up four earned runs in 2.1 innings. Speckman pitched 2.0 innings in relief, allowing one hit and no runs.
Central Michigan will take the field again on Saturday, April 6, against Kent State. First-pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Margo Jonker Stadium.