Mount Pleasant, Mich.- Winner of eight of its last 10 contests, Central Michigan Softball travels to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan for a four-game road trip. The Chippewas enter the weekend second in Mid-American Conference West division behind Ball State.
Senior Kara Dornbos was named the MAC West Pitcher of the Week after going 3-1 with a 0.26 ERA last week. Dornbos’ 1.88 season ERA ranks second in the conference and 65th in the country. After pitching three completes games in last week’s six-game home stand, Dornbos has thrown 58 complete games in her four years, moving into sixth in program history.
Senior Macy Merchant tied the program record with five hits against Kent State on April 7, and leads the team with 43 hits on the season. Her .413 batting average ranks third among all hitters in the MAC, and she is on pace to crack the top-three in Chippewas history with a .357 career average.
Junior Cory DeLamielleure received MAC West Player of the Week honors for her stand out performance at home last week. Six of DeLamielleure’s eight hits were for extra bases, including two homeruns. She leads the MAC and ranks 16th in the country with four triples this season. DeLamielleure has also come up big for Central Michigan defensively, leading the conference with five pick-offs and has caught 10 runners stealing.
As a team, the Chippewas are batting .284, with three hitters over .300. Central Michigan has scored 133 runs this season, third most in the MAC, and have accounted for 116 RBIs. The pitching staff has been a highlight for this team, leading the conference with a combined 2.18 ERA and a conference best .234 opponent batting average.
Northern Illinois (11-23, 1-5 MAC) • Doubleheader on Friday, April 12, at 1 p.m.
Northern Illinois comes into Friday’s doubleheader on a six-game losing streak. In their most recent game, the Huskies took Miami (Ohio) to an eighth inning, but lost 5-4. Nicole Gremillion is NIU’s lone batter hitting over .300 on the season, and leads the Huskies with 19 RBIs. Jessica Sturm has posted a 2.91 ERA from the circle for NIU and has tossed six complete games. The Chippewas lead the all-time series 31-22-1. The Huskies won last season’s series at Central Michigan, sweeping the Chippewas 5-1 and 4-2.
Western Michigan (11-21, 2-4 MAC) • Sat., April 13, at 2 p.m./ Sun., April 14, at 2 p.m.
Western Michigan currently sits third in the MAC West division and losers of its last four games. Last time out, the Broncos fell victim to No. 12 Michigan in Ann Arbor, 8-0 (5.0 innings). Freshman Sabrina Gamboa has emerged has a threat at the plate, leading Western Michigan with 24 RBIs and 14 extra base hits, including four homeruns. Becca Shemberger leads a pitching staff that has combined for a 5.42 ERA and allowing opponents to hit .282 against them. Shemberger has a 4.92 ERA in 21 appearances and has struck out 81 batters. Central Michigan leads the all-time series 65-37. The last time the two teams faced off was on May 11, 2012, at the MAC Tournament. The Chippewas defeated the Broncos 2-0 in the semi-final round.