LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Central Michigan earned a pair of wins on Friday, defeating Northern Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky with a combined 18 runs at the Cardinal Classic.
The Chippewas (7-4) opened up tournament play with a dominating win over Northern Kentucky (1-5), finding their rhythm at the plate to take a 12-2 victory in five innings.
Central Michigan came out swinging in the first inning, taking an early 4-0 lead.
Sophomore Evelyn Lorimer got things started with a single to center field before stealing second base. Lorimer was brought in by Trista Cox who doubled to left center, giving CMU an early 1-0 lead. Cox advanced to third off a Chelsea DeLamielleure single to shortstop before DeLamielleure stole second. Junior CarolAnn Sexauer capped off the five hit, four run first inning with a three run homer to left field.
The Maroon and Gold kept the momentum on its side in the second inning when senior Lauren Bowman reached first on a fielding error by the third baseman. Lorimer earned one of her four RBI on a triple to right center bringing in Bowman, upping the Chippewas to 5-0. Lorimer was brought home on a Kristen Kuhlman sacrifice fly to right field, extending CMU’s lead to 6-0.
The Chippewas continued their scoring streak into the third inning when Raechel Zahrn scored on a passed ball to give CMU a 7-0 lead over the Norse. CMU added one more when redshirt freshman Michelle Dornan doubled to center field, scoring Cory DeLamielleure from third.
After Sexauer doubled to right center in the fourth inning, Central Michigan took advantage of NKU miscues, advancing Sexauer to third and then to home on back-to-back wild pitches to give CMU the 9-0 advantage.
Senior Morgan Yuncker (3-0) led the way on the mound, pitching all five innings for the Chippewas, surrendering only two runs and three hits. The only runs she and the Chippewas gave up came in the fifth inning when the Norse plated two.
The Chippewas added three more in the bottom of the fifth to finalize the win over Northern Kentucky, sealed by a three-run shot to right field by Lorimer.
In the second game of the day, CMU downed Eastern Kentucky (4-6), 6-5.
Lorimer’s success at the plate continued into the second game, as the sophomore led off the first inning with double to center field. Kuhlman followed up with a blast of her own to center field, bringing Lorimer home for an early 1-0 lead for the Chippewas.
The third inning proved to be another success offensively for Central Michigan, extending its lead 4-0. Lorimer got things started again with another double before advancing to third on a wild pitch and going on to score the first run of the inning. Chelsea DeLamielleure and Sexauer both scored unearned runs to cap off the three-run inning.
The Colonels got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, adding three runs to pull within one of the Chippewas.
Eastern Kentucky took a brief lead in the fifth inning after capitalizing on a CMU error and wild pitch, holding a 5-4 advantage over the Chippewas.
However the Maroon and Gold answered in the bottom of the fifth when Chelsea DeLamielleure doubled to lead off the inning. Sexauer lifted the Chippewas to a 6-5 lead with a two-run, game-winning homer.
Senior Chelsea Sundberg (2-3) started the game on the mound, pitching three innings. She gave up three hits and three runs while striking out three.
Freshman Rachael Knapp (2-1) came in to relieve Sundberg, pitching the remaining four innings, allowing only one hit, two runs while striking out seven.
The Chippewas continue tournament play tomorrow at 10 a.m. in a re-match against Eastern Kentucky and then are in action again at 5:30 p.m. versus host Louisville.